Startup Uses Microinjections In Retinal Drug Delivery
The company is hoping to stave off retinal blindness in some patients by using a microneedle to administer drugs to the back of the eye between the choroid and sclera. The company says this is where many sight-threatening diseases manifest themselves including wet and dry forms of age-related macular degeneration, uveitis and retinal and choroidal inflammation.
According to a statement from the company, the funding came from Santen Inc., the California-based subsidiary of Santen Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd in Japan, and other investors including Mountain Group Capital, Hatteras Venture Partners, Georgia Research Alliance Venture Fund and Kenan Flagler Business School Private Equity Fund. Clearside also established a research collaboration agreement with Santen focused on posterior ocular diseases.
Microneedles may offer a less-invasive, more targeted and more accessible method of drug delivery, as opposed to eye drops, hypodermic needles or surgery, and may keep drugs away from other parts of the eye, where side effects may occur, the company says.
It plans to initiate clinical testing of its first candidate, CLS1001, in the first quarter of this year.
Clearside was established in January 2012 with a $4 million investment and technology licensed from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University School of Medicine. It’s based in Alpharetta, Georgia, with another office in Raleigh, North Carolina.
NeuTigers: edge AI in healthcare
What is edge AI?
Edge AI is essentially a combination of edge computing and artificial intelligence. Algorithms are processed locally - directly on a mobile device or server - rather than in the cloud. This reduces cost, computing power and energy requirements. There are also claims that edge AI is so fast it is possible to reach near real-time analytics.
Edge AI devices include smart speakers, smart phones, laptops, robots, self-driven cars, drones, and surveillance cameras that use video analytics.
Who is NeuTigers?
NeuTigers is a spin-off company from Princeton University, formed in 2018 to apply edge AI and machine learning to solve challenges in healthcare, energy, productivity, and security.
With offices in Princeton, NJ, the company is based at one of the top AI accelerator programs of FutureLabs in New York, and has also established a subsidiary in Nice, France.
How is NeuTigers applying edge AI to healthcare?
The NeuTigers AI Technology Stack uses deep neural networks that mimic how the human brain perceives and interprets the world. The company has developed the StarDeepTM Smart Health Platform for health monitoring and biomedical imaging, to improve the accuracy and speed of diagnosing diseases.
NeuTigers say the platform has the potential to monitor and screen for thousands of conditions, when used in combination with medical devices and smart sensors already deployed in healthcare settings.
Are there any real world examples?
In January NeuTigers launched CovidDeep, a tool that predicts COVID-19 with more than 90% accuracy, using physiological data from a wristband along with blood pressure and blood oxygen readings. It then analyses the data and gives a prediction within two minutes.
This week NeuTigers announced a new study to detect the early signs of complications with sickle cell anaemia. Conducted at a hospital in Paris, the research will begin by looking at changes to skin response, heart beat, sleep and temperature to predict an acute episode of sickle cell anaemia, and how this impacts on the patients’ disease conditions and quality of life.
The second phase of the project is to expand with prospective studies across different sites in EU, Africa and the US to explore the models' accuracy and clinical effectiveness.
Adel Laoui, CEO and founder of NeuTigers, says: “The best way to deal with a crisis is to avoid it happening in the first place. We are now entering a new era where medical early warning systems have become a reality.
“We are excited at the possibility of deploying a technology that can save lives of patients dealing with sickle cell anaemia. The potential of the StarDeep platform to dramatically improve patient outcomes while slashing some of the highest costs of healthcare makes it one of the most exciting developments in preventative personal medicine.”