Miniaturized optical coherence tomography (OCT) device maker Compact Imaging (CI; Mountain View, CA) has signed a collaboration agreement with Novartis Pharma (Basel, Switzerland) under which Novartis will fund CI's development of a low-cost home-based monitor to detect disease progression in advanced cases of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR), both leading causes of blindness.
Home retinal monitoring based on CI's MRO (Multiple Reference OCT) technology is expected to provide a simple and affordable solution to the problems that arise from the current therapeutic regimen. The personal devices will enable quick and easy monitoring in patients' homes. The collected OCT information then will be transmitted via cloud to treating physicians. If the data show the possibility of clinically significant disease progression, the patient will be promptly notified by his or her treating physician to visit the clinic for a complete diagnostic exam and, if indicated, antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) treatment.
"We appreciate Novartis Pharma AG's commitment to advancing development of a practical device that will enable patients to monitor progression of vision-threatening retinal diseases at home," says Don Bogue, Compact Imaging's CEO. "Home monitoring and rapid reporting of results to treating physicians has the potential to dramatically transform this burdensome patient care model. Most importantly, it will help patients around the world get the full benefit of today's sight-saving therapies."
Don Bogue, Compact Imaging's CEO.
Compact Imaging has already demonstrated the technical feasibility of MRO for use in this application, achieving results comparable to clinical OCT in a study measuring retinal thickness in healthy eyes. The company expects to begin clinical trials of a prototype system with patients having an active AMD or diabetic macular edema (DME) diagnosis in the second half of 2019.