HSINCHU, Oct. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In the recent announcement of the 2023 R&D 100 Awards, ITRI, Taiwan’s largest and one of the world’s leading high-tech applied research institutions, has clinched eight 2023 R&D 100 Awards, the second-highest number of awards by a single organization this year, standing alongside world-class research institutions such as Sandia and Oak Ridge National Laboratories. ITRI’s accolades include five net-zero solutions and three novel biomedical technologies, marking a historic win for the institute’s biotechnology sector. The biomedical innovations include the Novel Targeted Therapy for Glaucoma, the Coordinated Supra-Molecule Complex (CSC) for Wet AMD Treatment, and the Intelligent Radio Frequency Ablation (iRFA) for tumor therapy.

ITRI’s breakthrough in glaucoma is recognized with a 2023 R&D 100 Award, paving the way for safer and more effective ocular care.
ITRI’s breakthrough in glaucoma is recognized with a 2023 R&D 100 Award, paving the way for safer and more effective ocular care.

“It marks the fifth consecutive year that ITRI’s biomedical innovations have earned the prestigious R&D 100 Awards, showcasing the international caliber of Taiwan’s biomedical research capabilities,” noted ITRI President Edwin Liu. All three award-winning technologies have been transferred to Taiwanese companies, reflecting the Institute’s commitment to translating research into practical industrial applications. Notably, iRFA has been licensed to the ICT giant Compal Electronics, while the technologies behind the Novel Targeted Therapy for Glaucoma and the CSC for Wet AMD Treatment found their new home at Metagone Biotech.

Novel Targeted Therapy for Glaucoma

The Novel Targeted Therapy for Glaucoma is a dual-target eye drop that significantly improves trabecular meshwork blockage and facilitates the drainage of aqueous humor to regulate intraocular pressure (IOP). The dual-target drug surpasses existing medications with three times the efficacy and overcomes prevailing limitations in managing ocular hypertension. In addition to its efficacy in treating glaucoma, it is suitable for individuals with elevated intraocular pressure.

Given that approximately half of glaucoma patients develop resistance within three years, this novel eye drop fills the treatment gap for those who have experienced treatment failure with initial medications. Administered once daily, it minimizes drug exposure to conjunctival tissue and mitigates common side effects such as irritation and inflammation. This in turn provides patients with a safer and more effective treatment option and better safety profiles in glaucoma management.

Coordinated Supra-Molecule Complex (CSC) for Wet AMD Treatment

The CSC for Wet AMD Treatment transforms the existing wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) treatment by replacing invasive injections with a non-intrusive eye drop, significantly reducing the risk of complications such as bleeding, infection, and anxiety associated with ocular needle injections. Its exceptional drug delivery to the posterior eyeball negates the need for lifelong eye injection, thus lowering the risk of infection and the need for frequent hospital visits. Empowering patients to take control of their treatment, this self-care approach enhances their overall quality of life.

Recognizing the potential of small molecules in advancing ocular disease treatment, ITRI has devoted its efforts to developing the Coordinated Supra-Molecular Complex (CSC) carrier technology, a critical component behind both the Novel Targeted Therapy for Glaucoma and the CSC for Wet AMD Treatment. This versatile technology can be applied to address other posterior ocular diseases, including dry AMD, posterior uveitis, and macular edema, offering versatile treatment options.

Intelligent Radio Frequency Ablation (iRFA)

iRFA is an advanced radiofrequency ablation (RFA) system integrated with an ultrasonic real-time imaging module. With this advantage, iRFA can perform electrode insertion guidance and postoperative ablation confirmation. Its adjustable RF electrode makes it easier for surgeons to adjust the ablation volume and direction, enabling pinpoint ablating accuracy. It treats solid tumors in the liver, lungs, pancreas, or thyroid nodules, as well as cardiovascular and neurological diseases, with smaller wounds and shorter recovery time. Beyond its current applications, iRFA’s can potentially be extended to breast and orthopedic tumor ablation and even robotic-assisted surgery.

About ITRI

Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) is one of the world’s leading technology R&D institutions aiming to innovate a better future for society. Founded in 1973, ITRI has played a vital role in transforming Taiwan’s industries from labor-intensive into innovation-driven. To address market needs and global trends, it has launched its 2035 Technology Strategy and Roadmap that focuses on innovation development in Smart Living, Quality Health, Sustainable Environment, and Resilient Society.

Over the years, ITRI has been dedicated to incubating startups and spinoffs, including well-known names such as UMC and TSMC. In addition to its headquarters in Taiwan, ITRI has branch offices in the U.S., Europe, and Japan in an effort to extend its R&D scope and promote international cooperation across the globe. For more information, please visit https://www.itri.org/eng.

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Miranda Stanford