Rabbits used in the preclinical development of drugs targeting the ocular system receive intravitreal injections to study compound safety and efficacy. The site of these injections is the pars plana (between the ciliary body and the start of the retina/choroid) which is approximately 1mm in length and the lack of any obvious external features that can be reliably used to locate the correct area for injection, can have a negative impact on animal welfare and the accuracy and validity of these injections.
Scientists from GlaxoSmithKline worked with the NC3Rs to launch a Challenge to find a collaborator to develop a device that refine these injections. The winner of the Challenge was Origin Product Design – a Cambridge based company specialising in design solutions across several industries. They collaborated closely with GlaxoSmithKline and the NC3Rs to develop the new RETINAs device based on detailed study of the anatomy of the rabbit eye and the techniques used by scientists when administering the injections. The new RETINAs device delivers increased accuracy and reproducibility of intravitreal injections by acting a speculum for the eye, providing a fixed angle for the needle and a fixed depth of injection. In achieving these goals, the number of animals used per study has been reduced and the procedure has been refined by minimising the risk of injury to the eye.
Read the original Challenge brief for RETINAS
Read the blog from Allen Pearson, Origin Product Design