Caution: Investigational device. Not approved for use.

Investigational Glaucoma Drainage Implant

Exploring the potential of alternative surgical treatments for the leading cause of blindness worldwide.

Caution: Investigational device. Not approved for use.

Project overview

Developing an investigational glaucoma drainage device intended for use when surgical intervention is recommended.

  • Will utilize a durable filtering technology with a stable biopermeable interface, intended for treating moderate-to-severe glaucoma
  • Developed in collaboration with ophthalmologists and glaucoma specialists
  • Feasibility studies and subject recruitment in planning stages

Project overview

Tackling the leading cause of blindness

2.7 million people in the U.S. have glaucoma: 50% know; 50% don't know

Pressure build-up in the eye from glaucoma, if left untreated, inevitably leads to optic nerve damage and vision loss.

  • The most common cause of irreversible blindness, affecting 2.7 million people in the U.S. alone1
  • Well managed in early stages through daily topical drug therapy but patient compliance with self-administered eye drop medication regimens is low
  • Surgical intervention has high risk and failure rates (in some cases exceeding 30% after five years2), and is used only after all lower-risk, less-effective options have been exhausted

1Glaucoma [Infographic]. NIH National Eye Institute Media Library; 2013. Accessed October 21, 2022.
2Craven et. al. Reoperation Rates and Disease Costs for Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Patients in the United States Treated with Incisional Glaucoma Surgery. Ophthalmology Glaucoma 2022;5(3):297-305.

Seeking a new solution for pressure relief

Investigating the possible patient benefits of using novel materials and designs may have the potential to provide an alternative to incisional procedures for moderate-to-severe glaucoma.

  • The implant uses a unique fluid-permeable reservoir, providing stress relief and stable filtering
  • Gore material may facilitate biointegration without use of antifibrotics or other medications indicated for reduction of tissue scarring

Additional references

  • Bicket AK, Szeto J, Roeber P, et al. A novel bilayered expanded polytetrafluoroethylene glaucoma implant creates a permeable thin capsule independent of aqueous humor exposure. Bioengineering & Translational Medicine 2020;6(1):e10179.
  • Bicket AK, Pitha I. Overcoming bleb encapsulation with biomaterials. Glaucoma Today 2022;2:22-25.

Seeking a new solution for pressure relief

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