Alimera, a pharmaceutical firm focused on eye problems, and Control Delivery Systems, a Massachusetts-based firm, are developing an implant designed to combat vision loss among people afflicted with diabetes.

Alimera, founded by a team of former Novartis ophthalmics executives, raised a nearly $27 million A round in venture financing as it launched operations in 2004. Intersouth Partners is among its investors.

Alimera and Control Delivery Systems said Wednesday they are in discussions with the Food and Drug Administration about launching a clinical trial for the miniscule device. Once implanted in the eye it would deliver a drug to treat diabetic macular edema for up to three years.

Alimera’s deal with Control Delivery System includes possible development of three more products.

“The prospect of offering patients with diabetes, their caregivers and ophthalmology professionals the convenience of an outpatient injection with the potential for three-year drug delivery is truly exciting,” said Dan Myers, chief executive officer of Alimera Sciences, in a statement. “We are confident that our collaboration and joint expertise will successfully deliver this invaluable option to diabetic patients.”

The current treatment for the eye disease involves laser therapy, and drugs being studied to treat it must be injected repeatedly due to the lack of a long-term release offering, the companies said.

Alimera launched an artificial tear product in August.


Note: To see LTW’s coverage of Alimera’s launch, see: