In vivo Pharmacology Studies

We offer in vivo pharmacology studies in nearly 50 animal models to mimic conditions of the human eye.

Iris Pharma offers nearly 50 in vivo animal models – the largest number on the market – to mimic conditions of the human eye. Not only do we help clients select the appropriate in vivo efficacy model, but we can also develop new animal models as needed, according to the specific requirements of our clients.

We use state-of-the-art ocular technology – including Spectralis® HRA+OCT, confocal microscopy, tomography, electroretinography, and more – to demonstrate the efficacy of particular ophthalmic drugs or devices.

Angiogenesis & Permeability

Ocular angiogenesis & retinal vascular permeability models:

  • CORNEAL neovascularization: sutures or alkali burn
  • CHOROIDAL neovascularization: experimental argon laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV model)
  • RETINAL neovascularization: animal model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR)
  • RETINAL vascular permeability: VEGF-induced retinal vascular permeability model


  • Proof of concept for angiogenesis and/or lymphangiogenesis
  • Corneal angiogenesis:
    • inflammatory disorders
    • stromal ulceration
    • corneal graft
    • infectious keratitis
  • Choroidal angiogenesis: wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Retinal angiogenesis:
    • diabetic retinopathy
    • retinopathy of prematury (ROP)
    • ischemic retinopathies


  • Length of new vessels and network density
  • Lesion volume (optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • Angiography (HRA)
  • Histology (number of new vessels ...)
  • Retina examination (fundus, HRT)
  • Corneal examination (HRT)
  • Visualization and quantification of size of the lesion in the CNV model (flatmount evaluation)
  • Marker levels

ocular angiogenesis

Ocular Neurodegeneration

ocular neurodegeneration

Ocular neurodegeneration models:

  • Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss in optic nerve clamping model
  • RGC loss in model of elevated intraocular pressure
  • RGC loss in model of NMDA-mediated excitotoxic damage
  • Photoreceptor apoptosis in animal model of blue light damage (LD) retinal degeneration 


  • Dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD)
  • Geographic atrophy
  • Glaucoma
  • Central retinal artery or vein occlusion (CRAO, CRVO)
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Retinal ischemia


  • Electroretinography (ERG)
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • Fundus autofluorescence (FAF) imaging
  • RGC density (histological analysis)

Ocular Hypertension

Ocular hypertension models:

  • Steroid-induced ocular hypertension
  • Hypertonic saline-induced ocular hypertension
  • Water loading-induced ocular hypertension
  • Normotensive


  • Ocular hypertension
  • Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG)


Intraocular pressure (IOP) measurement (tonometry)


Graph legend: Reduction of experimentally induced elevated intraocular pressure (IOP)

ocular hypertension

Ocular Allergy

Ocular allergy

Ocular allergy models:

  • Ovalbumine-induced allergic conjunctivitis (early phase and/or late phase)
  • Compound 48/80-induced ocular conjunctivitis model
  • Histamine-induced ocular conjunctivitis
  • Ragweed-induced allergic conjunctivitis


  • Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis


  • Clinical scoring
  • Slip Lamp ocular examination: clinical evaluation
  • Spectrophotometry: extravasation of a dye in eyelids / eyeball or in aqueous humor / iris ciliary body
  • HRTII, histology: cellular infiltration
  • Mediator concentration


Graph legend: Conjunctival extravasation of dye in sensitized animals using the antigen challenge model

Ocular Inflammation

Ocular inflammation models:

  • Endotoxin-Induced Uveitis (EIU) (LPS model of inflammation)
  • Intraocular surgery and cataract surgery (phacoemulsification or intra/extracapsular)
  • AH paracentesis
  • Experimental Autoimmune Uveitis (EAU)
  • Mycobacteruim Tuberculosis


  • Acute anterior uveitis
  • Posterior and panuveitis
  • Acute ocular inflammation resulting from exogenous injuries either post ocular surgery or due to accidents


  • Protein concentration in the aqueous humor
  • Spectrophotometry: extravasation of a dye in conjunctiva
  • Clinical scoring (conjunctival swelling)
  • Mediator concentration (prostaglandin, leukotriene, interleukin or other)
  • Laser flare meter
  • Slit lamp ocular examination


Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome models:

  • Extraorbital lacrimal gland excision
  • Controlled-environmental conditions and scopolamine-induced dry eye syndrome
  • Scopolamine-induced dry eye


  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS)


  • Corneal staining (fluorescein test)
  • Tear volume (phenol red threat (PRT) tear test)
  • Histology analysis
  • Bioassays


dry eye syndrome

Corneal Wound Healing

Corneal wound healing models:

  • Surface damage: corneal epithelium debridement induced by mechanical or chemical means
  • Depth damage: manual superficial keratectomy


  • Corneal wound healing delay
  • Neurotrophic keratitis
  • Corneal fibrosis syndrome
  • Persistent corneal epithelial defects (PCED)


  • Fluorescein test
  • Histology analysis
  • Image analysis


Graph legend: Rate of corneal wound healing after complete deepithelialization and daily instillation





corneal wound healing

Ocular Pain

Ocular pain or discomfort models:

  • Capsaicin-induced ocular pain
  • Formalin-induced eye discomfort


  • Ocular pain
  • Ocular discomfort


  • Mesurement of the palpebral opening
  • Observing the conjunctival hyperemia
  • Eyelid blinking rate
  • Corneal anesthesia measurement

Ocular Surgery

Ocular surgery models:

  • Phacoemulsification
  • Keratecomy
  • Paracentesis
  • Device implantation
  • Others