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.

Ocular Angiogenesis

Ocular angiogenesis models:

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


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


  • Length of new vessels and network density
  • 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)…

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 (high IOP or HIOP)
  • Photoreceptor apoptosis in animal models of blue light damage (LD) retinal degeneration 


  • Dry AMD
  • Geographic atrophy
  • Glaucoma
  • Central retinal artery or vein occlusion (CRAO, CRVO)


  • Electroretinography (ERG)
  • Histology RPE or retinal outer nuclear layer (ONL) thickness

Ocular Hypertension

Ocular hypertension models:

  • Water loading-induced ocular hypertension
  • Normotensive


  • Ocular hypertension
  • Glaucoma


Intraocular pressure (IOP) measurement (tonometry)


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

ocular hypertension

Ocular Allergy

Ocular allergy

Ocular allergy models:

  • Allergic conjunctivitis: ovalbumine-induced allergic conjunctivitis (early phase and/or late phase)
  • Allergic conjunctivitis: compound 48/80 model ocular allergy model
  • Allergic anterior uveitis: ocular anaphylaxis models on sensitized animals (IVT rabbit anti-BGG serum) followed by challenge (iv BGG injection)
  • Experimental Autoimmune Uveitis (EAU)


  • Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis
  • Acute anterior uveitis
  • Posterior and pan-uveitis


  • 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 (including prostaglandin, leukotriene, interleukin)


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)
  • Experimental Autoimmune Uveitis (EAU)
  • Intraocular surgery and cataract surgery (phacoemulsification or intra/extracapsular)
  • AH paracentesis
  • 48/80 instillation


  • Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis
  • Acute anterior uveitis
  • Posterior and pan-uveitis
  • 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:

  • Controlled-environment-chamber and scopolamine-induced dry eye
  • Scopolamine-induced dry eye
  • Lacrimation


  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS)


  • TBUT (tear break-up time) and tear volume (Schirmer strips)
  • Corneal staining (fluorescein test)
  • Tear volume (phenol red threat (PRT) tear test)
  • Histology analysis


Graph legend: Changes in tear migration after one instillation

dry eye syndrome

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy models:

  • Retinal vascular permeability: VEGF-induced fluorescein leakage
  • Retinal angiogenesis: animal model of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR)


  • Retinal vascular edema (diabetic macular edema, retinal vein occlusion)
  • Diabetic retinopathy (retinal angiogenesis)
  • Human retinopathy of prematury (ROP)


  • In vivo retinal fluorescein leakage using scanning fluorophotometry
  • Histology

Corneal Wound Healing

Corneal wound healing models:

  • Complete corneal epithelium debridement induced by mechanical or chemical means
  • Incomplete corneal epithelium debridement induced by mechanical or chemical means


  • Corneal wound healing delay


  • Fluorescein test
  • 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
  • Corneal anesthesia measurement (number of stimuli necessary to induce a blinking)