EyeGate’s own lead product for dry-eye syndrome and anterior uveitis is due to start in Phase III this year.

EyeGate Pharma and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will collaborate on evaluating the delivery of a number of the latter’s therapies to posterior and anterior eye tissues using the EyeGate® II delivery system.

EyeGate II is a noninvasive transcleral iontophoresis delivery platform. The approach uses an electrical field created by a low-level electrical current to ionize a drug and modify the permeability of the cells, which allows delivery of the drug through different tissues to targeted areas.

The deal with GSK comes a month or so after EyeGate reported positive results from a Phase II trial evaluating its own lead product, EGP-437, in the treatment of anterior uveitis. A Phase II trial in dry-eye patients was successfully completed in 2009.

EGP-437 is a dexamethasone-derived corticosteroid solution delivered using the EyeGate II technology. Data from the recently reported anterior uveitis study showed that a single treatment with EGP-437 led to half the subjects achieving an anterior cell score of zero within two weeks. By 28 days post-treatment the majority of patients had achieved cell scores of zero and required no further treatment, the firm claims.

EyeGate says it expects to start a Phase III trial with EGP-437 in dry-eye patients during the first half of 2010. EGP-437 is also in Phase II development as a treatment for corneal-graft rejection (CGR) and has been granted orphan drug designation in the U.S. for the CGR indication. In January the firm raised $22.6 million in Series D venture financing to progress its clinical program.

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