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  • By Anni Griswold
    Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Glaucoma, Retina/Vitreous

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    These researchers don’t need you to cry a river—just shed one-millionth of a liter of tears—to diagnose glaucoma. A team at the Medical College of Georgia is matching the composition of tear fluid to patient demographics and clinical characteristics such as a misshapen optic nerve. So far, they’ve uncovered 807 unique proteins, including 43 that were significantly altered, in the aqueous humor of patients with glaucoma. Eventually the scientists hope to draft a proteomic signature for glaucoma that can guide early diagnosis and management. JAGWIRE, Augusta University

    An experimental treatment for Stargardt disease just received orphan status by the European Medicines Agency. More than 2 years have passed since Acucela’s leading drug candidate, emixustat hydrochloride, received orphan status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The new European designation grants Acucela 10 years of market exclusivity after regulatory approval, as well as financial discounts on the regulatory process and scientific advice on protocol development. Business Wire

    Biogen's $800 million purchase of gene therapy company Nightstar means that 2 late-stage ophthalmic programs will change hands. The leading drug candidate, NSR-REP1, improved vision in a phase 3 trial of people with choroideremia; the gene therapy NSR-RPGR is undergoing international trials in people with X-linked retinitis pigmentosa. “We look forward to working now as one Biogen team with the goal of bringing breakthrough therapies to patients to slow or halt blindness across a range of inherited retinal diseases,” said Michel Vounatsos, Biogen’s Chief Executive Officer. Biogen

    Forget gold teeth grillz – scientists are now experimenting with eye grillz of sorts: soft contact lenses embellished with gold nanoparticles.
    Early findings published in the journal Applied Materials Today suggest the gold-embedded lenses may maintain visibility while protecting wearers' eyes from bright lights. The findings are early and speculative—but intriguing. Applied Materials Today, ABC News