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Leveraging CDMOs for Innovative Ophthalmic Drug Delivery Solutions

Leveraging CDMOs for Innovative Ophthalmic Drug Delivery Solutions

The rising incidence of ocular diseases around the world has fostered significant research and development over the last few years, with several advancements moving ophthalmic drug delivery into an exciting new phase. The potential of these advancements, however, is matched by the complexity of developing and delivering these new, promising therapies. 

Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly partnering with Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs) to meet these evolving demands. In fact, the fast-growing CDMO market is projected to reach $309.5 billion (USD) by 2028. 

In this blog post, we’ll look at the benefits of working with a CDMO ophthalmic drug development and what you should look for when searching for the right partner. 

Leveraging Innovative Formulations to Transform Ophthalmic Drug Delivery 

As we discussed in a recent blog post, there are unique challenges for drug delivery to the eye. To start, it has several anatomical barriers that limit how much medication reaches its target site, including the outer layer of the cornea, the conjunctiva, and the blood-aqueous and blood-retinal barriers. These barriers repel water-based medications, hinder drug absorption, and strictly control what substances enter the inner eye.

Making matters worse, the eye then has another set of natural defense mechanisms, including rapid tear film turnover, which constantly washes away medication. As you can imagine, these barriers can severely impact treatment and patient adherence.

Polymer- and lipid-based nanocarriers are one of the most exciting advances in ocular disease treatment, and they offer significant potential in overcoming these barriers. As microscopic platforms, nanocarriers have been shown to:

  • Deliver higher concentrations of medication directly to the target site, bypassing anatomical barriers.
  • Minimize unwanted systemic exposure.
  • Slowly release medication over time, overcoming tear film turnover and improving drug residence time.
  • Target delivery to address specific ocular conditions, maximizing therapeutic effect.

ARVO 2024 (2)

Developing and applying these technologies, however, can be complex, and this has encouraged companies to seek out strategic partnerships that can provide support and complement internal resources and expertise.

The Benefits of Partnering with a CDMO for Ophthalmic Formulation Development

Partnering with a CDMO specialized in ophthalmic formulation development can offer a multitude of benefits, including:

  • Streamlined production of excipients and APIs:  GL CHEMTEC has the infrastructure and capabilities to produce excipients and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) tailored to ophthalmic formulations.

    Leveraging these capabilities can help you ensure precise control over formulation components, optimizing drug delivery and efficacy.

  • Handling early pK non-clinical studies and support up to clinical trials: GL CHEMTEC offers comprehensive support in conducting early pharmacokinetic (pK) non-clinical studies, which are essential for understanding drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion in the eye.

    The right CDMO partner should also provide crucial support during clinical trials, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and gathering data for formulation optimization.
  • Regulatory expertise and compliance support in global markets: GL CHEMTEC has established networks and partnerships with regulatory authorities, consultants, and experts, which can facilitate smooth regulatory submissions and approvals.

    Partnering with a CDMO can also ensure compliance with diverse regulatory frameworks, helping you address specifications and standards for market entry in different regions.

  • Delivering formulations with consistent quality: Quality is paramount in pharmaceutical products, and it is especially true for ophthalmic formulations, which usually have low volumes and concentrations. Precision and consistency are an absolute must to meet these parameters.

    Working with a CDMO that has a track record of success can help you implement and adhere to stringent quality control measures, ensuring formulations meet rigid specifications and maintain consistent quality throughout production.

  • Specialized support throughout the drug development process: Working with an experienced CDMO can also enable you to leverage specialized support at every stage of the drug development process, from formulation design and optimization to scale-up, manufacturing, and post-market support.

    Being able to leverage external expertise and resources can streamline the timelines for development and commercialization. 

How to Choose a CDMO Partner for Ophthalmic Drug Delivery

There are a number of key considerations you should keep in mind when selecting a CDMO for your ophthalmic drug delivery projects, including:

  • Expertise and scaling capability
    Complex chemistry challenges often arise. CDMOs with a wide range of expertise and specializations can help you overcome these challenges in innovative ways, often opening up new opportunities. To better understand a CDMO’s scientific expertise, take the time to explore the depth of knowledge of their leadership team. CDMOs that are most effective for the future of ophthalmic drug delivery, for example, should have extensive experience with polymers, nanoparticles, and enzymatic cleavage.

    It’s also important to ensure the CDMO has a demonstrated ability to transition from small-scale milligrams to large-scale kilograms. The ability to scale quickly in the same facility is an important factor for efficient and effective production at different stages of drug development – and to enable your growth. 
  • Trustworthiness and reliability
    Effective CDMOs also utilize early GxP capabilities for pharmaceutical production, ensuring quality, compliance, and reliability throughout the drug development process.

    Evaluate any prospective CDMO's track record, certifications, industry accolades, and client testimonials to gauge their standards and ability to consistently deliver high-quality results. The best CDMOs prioritize problem-solving and tailored solutions over generic chemical compound delivery.
  • Where are they located? 
    The location of a partner can have a significant impact on the success of your collaboration. If you are in North America, for example, working with a North American CDMO can simplify real-time communication, reduce lead times for project deliverables, and provide a secure, reliable source for pharmaceutical materials.

    A North American CDMO would also adhere to stringent regulatory standards, providing robust intellectual property (IP) protection and ensuring full compliance with regulatory requirements in pharmaceutical development.
  • Flexibility and agility
    Look out for CDMOs that are customer-centric, lean, and agile in their operations. They should demonstrate urgency, quick turnaround times, and a collaborative approach to meet tight timelines and adapt to evolving project needs.
  • Forward-thinking leadership
    Look for CDMOs with forward-thinking leadership that are relentless pursuers of innovation. Are they, for example, consistently investing in advanced technology and state-of-the-art facilities?

    Working with forward-thinking CDMOs provides access to adaptable, advanced manufacturing processes and cost-effective production methods and facilities, such as cutting-edge R&D labs, fully-equipped kilo labs and scale-up suites, pilot plants, class 6 cleanrooms, and advanced analytical instrumentation.

GLC: Your Trusted CDMO Partner

GL CHEMTEC is passionate about your success and committed to solving your most complex chemistry challenges. With our expertise in small molecule API development and tailored biomedical polymers, we offer fast, flexible, cutting-edge solutions. Our commitment to a collaborative partnership means we scale and adapt precisely to meet your evolving needs.

GL CHEMTEC provides: 

  • A unique combination of expertise in small molecule and biomedical polymers tailored to the target
  • Integrated solutions that accelerate early-stage API development and innovative drug delivery solutions, with seamless continuity from R&D to manufacturing
  • Strong organic polymer expertise and advanced biomedical materials applied to medical devices, drug delivery, and ophthalmic applications
  • Unmatched expertise in polymer design and development, including tailored polymers, hydrogels, films, and emulsions/nano-emulsions
  • Advanced custom hydrogels and silicone hydrogels for drug delivery through the eye
  • North American facilities, offering a reliable alternative to overseas supply chains and partners
  • A highly customer-centric culture and a 22-year track record of success
  • ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485:2016 certifications

We invite you to explore our capabilities and facilities and get in touch with us.