“Medicines, called antivirals, may decrease the risk of health problems and hearing loss in some infected babies who show signs of congenital CMV infection at birth.” – CDC, Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Congenital CMV Infection. Accessed June 24, 2017
Cytomegalovirus can cause devastating long-term effects, such as hearing loss, for infants diagnosed with the disease. Physicians often use antiviral medication to treat cytomegalovirus by relying on systemic exposure of the drug to treat the infection. Emerging localized delivery approaches, such as intratympanic injection, offer the potential to provide incremental protection against the infection by delivering drugs directly to the inner ear.
The FDA has approved the antiviral medications ganciclovir and foscarnet for intravenous administration in the treatment of cytomegalovirus, according to a 2013 article in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. According to the article the drugs most often “are used in immunocompromised hosts; in children, these uses are most often for off-label indications.”
Some physicians use orally administered antiviral medication to treat cytomegalovirus. A 2014 article in ENTtoday discusses the off-label use of oral valganciclovir to treat hearing loss caused by congenital cytomegalovirus. It states, “Treatment with antiviral medication can preserve, slow, or even reverse CMV-related SNHL.”
Intratympanic injection offers a localized approach for drug delivery to the inner ear in the treatment of cytomegalovirus. A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology treated guinea pigs with intratympanic antivirals. The study results support the intratympanic drug delivery of the combination of high concentrations of antivirals and dexamethasone.
Physicians currently treat cytomegalovirus by delivering antiviral medication systemically. However, intratympanic drug delivery offers a localized delivery approach that can provide incremental protection against the devastating effects of this disease. Orbis Biosciences leverages its Unisun drug delivery platform to combine active pharmaceutical products with a proprietary film forming agent to enable extended-release delivery of disease-fighting drugs to the inner ear.