25 May 2022

Sensor and transducer expertise aids development of non-invasive drug delivery device

Opharmic technology and CeramTec ceramics enable non-invasive drug delivery

Opharmic Technology has developed an ultrasonic non-invasive ocular drug delivery device with the goal of replacing intravitreal injections. The Hong Kong-based start-up is partnering with CeramTec to develop and produce the high-power transducer that enables the technology.  

More than 500 million patients worldwide suffer from eye diseases such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, and up to 30% of patients refuse corresponding treatments because these used to require direct injection into the eye.

Opharmic CEO Langston Suen explains: “Eye patients are increasingly looking for non-invasive treatment options at affordable pricing. Our ultrasound drug delivery system delivers therapeutics in the eye through the sclera by ultrasound-induced microstreaming, in which the drug molecules can diffuse into target eye tissue.”

In comparison to conventional eye injections, this non-invasive procedure is expected to have the potential to save up to 80% of time needed in drug administration.

CeramTec says its specialised sensor and transducer expertise enabled the fine-tuning of Opharmic’s ultrasonic transducer design in order to achieve the required consistency and performance.

Liam Dillon, Business Development Manager, Medical Equipment, at CeramTec said: “As an ISO 13485-certified medical supplier with know-how in both transducers and electro ceramics, we believe we are the perfect fit for medical start-ups working with ultrasonic technologies. Typically, in such development projects, our customers need support to improve their designs so that these are manufacturable in high volumes while allowing reliable performance. Our R&D team in Southampton have the knowledge and experience to guide customers through the development process and ensure the final product precisely matches technical requirements.”

Opharmic’s novel drug delivery device was last year recognised as the winner of the 2021 Asia Pacific Accelerator program. The program is run by MedTech Innovator, one of the largest accelerators of Life Science companies in the world, and the Asia Pacific Medical Technology Association (APACMed).

Company info: CeramTec UK Limited