Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2021 Apr 8. doi: 10.1007/s13346-021-00974-x. Online ahead of print.
Posaconazole (PSC) is a triazole group anti-fungal agent with the widest spectrum. Although there is no commercially available ocular dosage form, its diluted oral suspension preparation (Noxafil®) is used as off-label in topical treatment of severe keratitis and sclerokeratitis in the clinic. However, ocular bioavailability of PSC suspension form is extremely low due to its highly lipophilic character. Thus, there is a clinical need to improve its ocular bioavailability and to develop novel delivery system for the treatment of ocular fungal infections. Herein, we studied ex vivo permeation, penetration, anti-fungal activity, and Hen's Egg Test-Chorioallantoic Membrane (HET-CAM) toxicity tests in order to assess ocular targeting of PSC micelles, which were optimized in our previous study. The results indicated that micellar carrier system increased the permeability of PSC to eye tissues. Micelles showed higher affinity to ocular tissues than that of commercial oral suspension of PSC (Noxafil®). In vitro anti-fungal activity data also confirmed the efficacy of PSC loaded micellar formulations against Candida. albicans strains. The relative safety of the optimized micelles on the ocular tissue was shown with the HET-CAM toxicity test. In conclusion, micellar systems could be a promising strategy for the effective and safe delivery of PSC in the treatment of ocular fungal infections.