Novaliq GmbH, a specialty pharmaceutical company with a disruptive drug delivery platform that transforms poorly soluble drugs into effective therapeutics for ophthalmology, today announced successful application of a first-in-class ocular neuropathic pain and anti-inflammatory cannabinoid-based dry eye disease (DED) treatment approach in collaboration with the University of Cologne, Germany.

DED is one of the most common eye pathologies with neuropathic ocular pain a frequent underserved condition of this disease. The novel therapeutic approach has been proof-tested in a consecutive research program (Nov-07) that explores the development of new dry eye therapies targeting the cannabinoid receptor system using Novaliq’s proprietary EyeSol® drug delivery technology. Well-known for its neuroprotective and pain-inhibiting properties, various molecules targeting these receptors are extremely unstable in water-based formulations and undergo fast autoxidation, which makes the development of cannabinoid receptor targeting eye drops challenging. It is believed that applying EyeSol® technology to these molecules will result in enhancing its topical bioavailability, stability and efficacy.

“Increasing evidence is available on the importance of neuropathic ocular pain in DED. Based on solid results of our ongoing test series we expect a significant impact of Novaliq’s first-in class Nov-07 program in comparison with existing DED drugs on an established DED mouse model,” said Professor Philipp Steven, MD, Principle Investigator, Ocular Surface Group at the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Cologne, Germany. “We are now translating evidence from our experimental model into final, conformational studies in close cooperation with Novaliq for a Phase I clinical study in the near future. Based on the preclinical results, we believe that the Nov-07 program will facilitate the treatment of DED utilizing a dual mode of action towards inflammation and ocular neuropathic pain.”

“We are very excited to work in partnership with Professor Steven and his team at the University of Cologne,” said Sonja Krösser, Ph.D., Vice President of Preclinical and Clinical Development, Novaliq. “We anticipate that this new area of research in DED will further highlight the importance and awareness of inflammation and ocular neuropathic pain in dry eye. Offering an effective treatment for dry eye patients associated with symptomatic ocular neuropathic pain will be a milestone in the treatment of DED.”

Christian Roesky, Ph.D., Managing Director and CEO, Novaliq added, “With this program we demonstrate the power of EyeSol® as an enabling technology for developing truly differentiated drugs with the ability to transform ocular therapeutics by overcoming the current limitations of water in eye care.”

press release (PDF, 507 KB)