FEB 19, 2021
By Keng Jin Lee and Kanaga Rajan
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease, Oculoplastics/Orbit, Retina/Vitreous
A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.
Significant abnormalities may be lurking in the eyes of patients with severe COVID-19, according to researchers from France. Their study, published recently in Radiology, included brain MRI evaluations of 129 people with severe disease. Nine (7%) had abnormal MRI findings of the globe, with one or more nodules in the posterior pole; eight had nodules in both eyes. “Our study advocates for screening of all patients hospitalized in the ICU for severe COVID-19,” said lead author Augustin Lecler, MD, PhD. “We believe those patients should receive specific eye-protective treatments.” Radiological Society of North America, Radiology
“We are excited to launch yet another first-to-market generic of a complex ophthalmic,” said Akorn Pharmaceuticals president and CEO, Douglas Boothe about the FDA approval for loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic gel 0.5%. The treatment is indicated for inflammation and pain after ocular surgery. “This approval comes in just over 12 months from submission to the FDA and is the result of strong collaboration among Akorn's research and development, operations, quality, and regulatory teams.” Akorn Pharmaceuticals
Researchers are developing a broad-spectrum immunomodulatory eye drop, backed by a $10-million grant from the NEI. Unlike current dry eye treatments that do not target pathogenic autoantibodies, this novel treatment will use pooled human immune globulins to confer a broad-spectrum of immunological responses. “Our hope is that we can improve the quality of life of patients who suffer greatly because of dry eyes due to inflammatory and immune system disorders because of lack of availability of effective therapies,” said primary investigator Sandeep Jain, MD. University of Illinois at Chicago
Gyroscope Therapeutics’ investigational gene therapy shows promise for geographic atrophy secondary to AMD. New phase 1/2 interim data show that a single injection of GT005 increases vitreous complement factor 1 levels by an average of 146% for at least 24 weeks and downregulates a patient’s overactive complement system. The treatment—which was fast tracked last year—appeared to be well tolerated at 3 different doses and did not induce inflammation. One patient developed choroidal neovascularization but was successfully treated with anti-VEGF. Gyroscope Therapeutics