Ophthalmic drug delivery has long been a challenging task for pharmaceutical scientists seeking to alleviate various ocular diseases affecting the anterior and posterior segments. In order to deliver therapeutic agents to target tissues, the unique anatomical barriers of the eye must be circumvented effectively, without causing any patient discomfort or alteration in protective physiological mechanisms. This challenge is currently being met with the development of novel non-invasive delivery methods as well as improvements over existing techniques. Over the past decade many advanced technologies have been patented. Nevertheless a need for additional research and continuous innovation is still warranted. Patent literature is often essential for promoting new directions in research as well as for elucidating possibilities for future technologies. Hence, the aim of this review article is to discuss several recently filed patents on non-invasive modes of drug delivery to the ocular tissues. This review will also focus on the role of colloidal/particulate systems in ocular drug delivery and formulation. Recent patents filed on prodrugs as an efficient ophthalmic drug delivery mechanism also have been discussed. As a whole, this article is intended to provide a valuable insight into current trends in the field of ocular drug delivery and highlights advances made in patent literature.
Keywords: Ocular/ophthalmic patents, drug delivery, formulations, non-invasive ocular drug delivery, eye drops, viscosity imparting agents, biocompatibility enhancing agents, in-situ gel forming agents, contact lens, inserts