The Jerusalem Post has partnered with ExitValley, a digital platform that enables anyone to invest in Israel’s startup ecosystem and share in its success. In this article, we are pleased to introduce Eximore, an Israeli company that has revolutionized the delivery and efficacy of eye medication. The company’s innovative punctal plug significantly increases patient compliance and optimizes consistent dosing, reducing the risk of vision loss and improving patient outcomes for various ophthalmic conditions.
“Prescribing eye drops is the standard of care today used by physicians to treat conditions such as glaucoma and dry eye. However, eye drops are not the most effective or efficient drug delivery,” says the company’s CEO and co-founder Eyal Sheetrit. “Patient non-compliance, deviation from the therapeutic window and overuse are known challenges to the efficacy of eye drops. These challenges lead to vision loss or suboptimal outcomes that cannot be effectively controlled or monitored by a physician. Additionally, patients can experience side effects from preservatives contained in eye drops. Alternatives to eye drops have been attempted, yet to date, these novel attempts have faced design and regulatory challenges.”
“Most of the visual impairment is preventable or curable,”Eximore founder, Eyal Sheetrit
Eximore has developed a non-invasive patented punctal plug drug delivery system that addresses the challenges of eye drops while also overcoming the challenges of plug design. Eximore is leveraging the high retention, tolerability and safety of today’s well-proven conventional punctal plugs in the design of its novel plug that uses nano-particle technology to mold the drug into the actual plug itself.
The concept that gave birth to the product was developed by Prof. Guy Ben Simon, an ophthalmologist at Sheba Medical Center and one of the company’s co-founders, who came up with the idea of using the tear duct area to release the drug.
“Most patients treated for eye diseases use eye drops,” explains Sheetrit. “We have two main clinical indications for our product today. One is for glaucoma patients, a medical condition that affects about 80 million people worldwide, and the second is chronic dry eye disease, which about 400 million people worldwide suffer from.
“The Glaucoma causes pressure inside the eye, and it is usually diagnosed over 40, causing a loss of field of vision. Once you start to go blind, it is impossible to repair the damage, so the importance of the treatment is to reduce the pressure and prevent the onset of blindness. It requires daily treatment with eye drops, and studies show that about half of patients stop taking the eyedrop medication after about six months.
“We realized that there was a problem of responsiveness with so many patients,” Sheetrit says. “So, we offer them our medicine using a small plug, one millimeter in size, that you can hardly see or feel. It is very simple to insert without surgery or complicated procedure, and in addition, it is also inexpensive. It is a substitute for drops. The ophthalmologist inserts the device into the tear duct, using a procedure that lasts less than half a minute and takes place in the ophthalmologist clinic. The patient goes home, the plug works in the background, and you only need to go to the doctor for an inspection and replacement of the device in your next routine visit to the ophthalmologist in about six months.”
Sheetrit says that the second clinical indication for the product is the treatment for dry eye, “This is a more and more prevalence problem because of the overuse of tv and computer screens,” he explains. “The eyes become dehydrated because we keep them open and blink less. As a result, inflammation can be developed in the eye. Today, the primary treatment is artificial tears. It may give the patients short-term relief but does not solve the development of chronic inflammation.
“Our solution achieves two effects: reserving the patient’s tears by partially closing the tear ducts with our plug; this gives immediate relief from the burning and pain. The second thing is releasing an anti-inflammatory substance, which allows the restoration of tear gland manufacturing of tears and significantly improves the patient’s eye health.”
The company is now raising money for the second phase of clinical trials in both indications. The goal is to manufacture and export the products worldwide, from the USA and Europe to the Far East. “Most of the visual impairment is preventable or curable,” Sheetrit concludes ” Eximore’s innovation is the answer for better eye health which affects the quality of our lives and has economic and social consequences.”
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