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Development of a non-settling gel formulation of 0.5% loteprednol etabonate for anti-inflammatory use as an ophthalmic drop

Authors Coffey MJ, DeCory HH, Lane SS

Received 21 November 2012

Accepted for publication 21 December 2012

Published 13 February 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 299—312

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S40588

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Martin J Coffey,1 Heleen H DeCory,2 Stephen S Lane3

1Pharmaceutical Product Development, Bausch and Lomb, Inc, Rochester, NY, USA; 2Global Medical Affairs, Pharmaceuticals, Bausch and Lomb, Inc, Rochester, NY, USA; 3Associated Eye Care, Stillwater, MN, USA


Abstract: The eye has protective barriers (ie, the conjunctival and corneal membranes) and defense mechanisms (ie, reflex tearing, blinking, lacrimal drainage) which present challenges to topical drug delivery. Topical ocular corticosteroids are commonly used in the treatment of anterior segment diseases and inflammation associated with ocular surgery, and manufacturers continually strive to improve their characteristics. We describe the development of a novel ophthalmic gel formulation of loteprednol etabonate (LE), a C-20 ester-based corticosteroid with an established safety profile, in the treatment of ocular inflammatory conditions. The new LE gel formulation is non-settling, eliminating the need to shake the product to resuspend the drug, has a pH close to that of tears, and a low preservative concentration. The rheological characteristics of LE gel are such that the formulation is instilled as a drop and transitions to a fluid upon instillation in the eye, yet retains sufficient viscosity to prolong ocular surface retention. The new formulation provides consistent, uniform dosing as evidenced by dose extrusion studies, while pharmacokinetic studies in rabbits demonstrated rapid and sustained exposure to LE in ocular tissues following instillation of LE gel. Finally, results from two clinical studies of LE gel in the treatment of postoperative inflammation and pain following cataract surgery indicate that it was safe and effective. Most patients reported no unpleasant drop sensation upon instillation, and reports of blurred vision were rare.

Keywords: loteprednol etabonate, gel, drug delivery, clinical trial, ocular surface

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