Treating Amblyopia with a Hydrogel Patch


According to NEXGEL, the patch is expected be available for ophthalmologists to offer to their patients in the first half of 2023.

NEXGEL Inc. announced this week it has developed a new, proprietary hydrogel eye patch to treat amblyopia, a type of poor vision that typically occurs in one eye but can occur in both eyes (also called lazy eye).

According to the company, the patch is expected be available for ophthalmologists and optometrists to offer to their patients in the first half of 2023.

The company noted in a news release that amblyopia is present in approximately 2% to 4% of the U.S. population. According to the National Eye Institute, it is the most common cause of visual impairment in childhood and affects approximately two to three children out of every 100. The global amblyopia treatment market is forecast to exceed $6 billion by 2027.

Unlike the current standard-of-care patching for amblyopia, NEXGEL’s hydrogel patch is much gentler on the skin and is manufactured without the use of harsh chemicals or painful adhesives.

According to Leonard Nelson, MD, FACS, the most effective eye patches for the treatment of amblyopia are placed directly on the skin covering the eye, however, traditional eye patches for amblyopia are difficult to adjust and remove, pulling at and irritating the thin skin around the eye.

“For children, the associated discomfort often leads to poor compliance and suboptimal treatment,” Nelson, co-director of the Pediatric Ophthalmology Department and Director of the Strabismus Center at Wills Eye Hospital, said in the news release. “NEXGEL’s unique hydrogel technology is the innovation that pediatric ophthalmologists have been waiting for. The patches are gentle, can be worn for long periods of time without experiencing any pain or discomfort and are easily removable and replaceable – exactly what we need to treat our pediatric patients.”

Moreover, Adam Levy, NEXGEL’s CEO pointed out that the company’s ability to quickly develop this patch after learning about the growing need for a better amblyopia treatment product in the market is a hallmark of its hydrogel technology and is just another example of its many applications across healthcare, particularly at the interface between a medical device and the patient’s skin.

“Parents and doctors have been searching for a superior solution to treat this condition for pediatric patients, and we look forward to bringing our product to market in early 2023,” he said in the statement.

This article originally appeared on Ophthalmology Times.

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