Image: A novel implant helps glaucoma patients by improving aqueous humor outflow (Photo courtesy of iSTAR Medical).
An innovative micro-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) device is highly effective for achieving significant intraocular pressure (IOP) reduction in glaucoma patients.
The iSTAR Medical (Wavre, Belgium) MINIject is an injected implant designed to reduce IOP in glaucoma patients by improving aqueous humor outflow from the anterior chamber to the suprachoroidal space. The MIGS implant conforms to the eye anatomy, providing sustained drainage efficacy over time due to bio-integration of surrounding tissues into the material. MINIject is based on proprietary sphere templated angiogenic regeneration (STAR) material, developed at the University of Washington (Seattle; USA).
STAR is a soft, flexible, medical-grade silicone with a micro-porous, multi-channel, geometry with pores that are precisely sized to match cellular dimensions, thus stimulating angiogenesis. The interstitial space between the granules provides pathways for larger vessels, which can sprout capillaries small enough to infiltrate the pore structure. The porous design also encourages a natural flow speed, which reduces the incidence of fibrosis and minimizes scarring by increasing implant durability and reducing foreign body response.
“iSTAR Medical is proud to bring this innovative solution to patients suffering with Glaucoma, a major cause of blindness globally,” said Michel Vanbrabrant, CEO of iSTAR Medical. “With our proprietary STAR material, and international support from leading experts, MINIject has the potential to become a best-in-class treatment for Glaucoma. Initial feedback from investigators is encouraging and we look forward to seeing the primary endpoint results next year.”
Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve is damaged due to loss of retinal ganglion cells in a characteristic pattern, and is the second-leading cause of blindness after cataracts. It is normally associated with increased fluid pressure in the eye (aqueous humor). Glaucoma can be roughly divided into two main categories, "open-angle" and "closed-angle" glaucoma. Glaucoma has been called the "silent thief of sight" because the loss of vision often occurs gradually over a long period of time, and symptoms only occur when the disease is quite advanced.