New therapies: a spin-off of Politecnico to treat maculopathy

The trial of Mag Shell, a sight-saving implant with an ambitious goal: to reduce the impact on patients, caregivers and on the health system

Exudative maculopathy is a very common eye desease and represents the first cause of loss of sight for people over 50To treat it, until today, it is necessary to have a frequent cycle of injection, an invasive procedure with a high impact on the life of patients, that often abandon their therapy.

To avoid the premature abandonment of the treatment, a group of researchers of the Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering "Giulio Natta" of Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with the Deparment of clinical and biomedical sciences "Luigi Sacco, ASST Fatebenefratelli-Sacco, Università degli Studi di Milano, it has developed Mag Shella device that with a singular injection is able to release precise doses of medicine in defined intervals.

The device was first created in 2015 from the Phd thesis of Marco Ferronibiomedical engineer of Politenico di Milano. In six years, thanks to the support of Polihub that has incubated MgShellthe spin off which has gained a lot of prizes and investments the technology and the business model were developed.

Credits: Polihub
MAG SHELL: A NEW THERAPEUTIC FRONTIER FOR EXUDATIVE MACULOPATHY

The Mag Shell ocular device is a drug "container" that is inserted, with a single injection, into the eye and releases the active ingredient gradually, thus ensuring greater patient adherence to the therapeutic protocol.

This operation is possible thanks to the conformation of the device itself, which alternates layers of biodegradable materials, consisting of magnesium or its alloys, with drug doses.

"Today this means avoiding that 40% of patients who drop out of therapy go blind, it means drastically reducing the social impact that chronic diseases have" explains Ferroni in an interview.

The advantages of this procedure are many: in addition to the reduction of costs and the impact of current drug treatment on maculopathic patients, hospital staff and on healthcare costs, there are promising possibilities for using MagShell in other areas of pharmaceutical application as well.

The device is currently in a preclinical in vitro trial phase and the first animal pilot study will begin soon.

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Cover Photo: Polihub

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