With help of device developed at CU, new glaucoma procedure could offer patients non-drug, non-surgical option

By Staff
Renderings of CU’s DWT device, courtesy of OcuTherix.

Renderings of CU’s DWT device, courtesy of OcuTherix.

OcuTherix, Inc. and the University of Colorado (CU) have completed an exclusive license that will allow the company to continue developing a new non-invasive procedure for the treatment of glaucoma that uses patent-pending technology developed at CU.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of worldwide blindness, and is treated by lowering the fluid pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure). Topical eye-drop medications are often used to lower eye pressure, but because these medications can cause discomfort, patients often fail to take them correctly and consistently. Laser and surgical procedures are also used to reduce eye pressure; however, these techniques are fraught with complications and do not consistently reduce eye pressure in the long term.

A research team led by Malik Kahook, MD, Slater Family Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology at the CU School of Medicine, has developed a compact, non-invasive device that uses carefully calibrated external sonic oscillation to stimulate drainage of the eye’s fluid, reducing eye pressure. This innovative procedure, called Deep Wave Trabeculoplasty (DWT), is intended to be an efficient, safe and effective in-office treatment. Studies have shown that DWT does not cause tissue damage and lowers eye pressure consistently. An ongoing clinical study is intended to demonstrate that DWT has long-lasting benefits and can be repeated when needed. “The initial DWT study in humans revealed consistent eye pressure lowering without adverse events,” said Kahook. “Our team believes that DWT will play a significant role in the treatment of glaucoma in the United States and across the globe.”

“Gradual vision loss is devastating, and I am proud to be working with outstanding partners to develop DWT as we strive to save vision in people with glaucoma,” added OcuTherix CEO Robert Atkinson. “I strongly believe that DWT represents a new age in glaucoma treatment.”

“We believe this device represents a completely novel approach to the treatment of glaucoma, and the University is excited to work with a company that will help Dr. Kahook develop such a pioneering technique,” said David Poticha of CU’s Technology Transfer Office.

OcuTherix, a spin-out company of medical device incubator Prospex Medical, Inc., is dedicated to medical device innovation to save vision in people with glaucoma. CAUTION: Deep Wave Trabeculoplasty (DWT) is an investigational device and is not approved for sale.

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