Beacon is fabricated with nanotechnology that integrates a microfluidic channel that may more effectively treat glaucoma. The microfluidic channel is designed to lower intraocular pressure within the eye by shunting aqueous humor directly to the eye’s surface, with the end goal of normalizing inner eye pressure.
Beacon utilizes an ab externo implantation procedure to help continuously facilitate the flow of aqueous humor from the eye, providing physicians with a glaucoma treatment device that can be observed and assessed directly.
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The Beacon Aqueous Microshunt (BAM) uses advanced biomaterials and surface chemistries, nanotechnology, and micro-engineering and manufacturing in an attempt to solve the primary limitations of existing technology.
The small size, flow control, and anti-biofouling properties of the materials utilized in this technology could represent the next meaningful breakthrough in lowering intraocular pressure (IOP) by shunting aqueous humor directly to the tear film, rather than regions located inside the eye.
This strategy mitigates episcleral venous pressure resistance that current technologies must overcome. Because the aqueous humor is shunted directly to the tear film, the microchannel is the only source of resistance to aqueous outflow.
The microchannel of the BAM, formerly the Brown Glaucoma Implant (BGI), is carefully engineered to a calculated resistance. It is designed to achieve the predictable, precise flow control that lowers intraocular pressures, targeting 10-12 mmHg. The large AGIS trial suggests that an IOP below 12 mmHg may halt or significantly slow further optic nerve damage for most patients1.
The aqueous outflow bathes the cornea with aqueous humor. Sixty percent of all glaucoma patients taking medicated eye drops today develop an ocular surface disease severe enough to require a separate stand-alone treatment2,3. Today, the most severe cases of dry eye are treated with an autologous serum, very similar to the natural aqueous humor, that is produced in a laboratory4.
1. Agis Investigators. “The Advanced Glaucoma Intervention Study (AGIS): 7. The relationship between control of intraocular pressure and visual field deterioration.” Am J Ophthalmol 130 (2000): 429-440. 2. Arita, Reiko, et al. “Effects of long-term topical anti-glaucoma medications on meibomian glands.” Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 250.8 (2012): 1181-1185. 3. Leung, Eamon W., Felipe A. Medeiros, and Robert N. Weinreb. “Prevalence of ocular surface disease in glaucoma patients.” Journal of glaucoma 17.5 (2008): 350-355. 4. Shtein, Roni M., et al. “Autologous Serum-Based Eye Drops for Treatment of Ocular Surface Disease: A Report by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.” Ophthalmology 127.1 (2020): 128-133.