• By Kanaga Rajan
    Cataract/Anterior Segment, Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    A novel formulation of dexamethasone demonstrated favorable safety and efficacy in a phase 2 trial, Oculis reported last week. Made from a proprietary solubilizing nanoparticle technology that enhances drug solubility and bioavailability, the eye drop outperformed vehicle in reducing inflammation and pain following cataract surgery. The drug was well tolerated with no meaningful changes in IOP.  “I believe these patients will benefit greatly from an effective, once-daily and preservative-free treatment,” said study investigator Eric Donnenfeld, MD, who presented the findings at the virtual ASCRS 2020 meeting. Oculis

    Move over normal eyes, there’s a new bionic eye in town. Researchers from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology have developed a device that mimics the human eye, but registers a larger range of wavelengths and processes light nearly twice as fast. The design includes 460 million light-sensitive nanowires packed directly into the pores of a hemispherical aluminum membrane (the “retina”), a symmetrical dome and lens front and a gel-like ionic liquid center (“vitreous humour”) that supports the nanowires. “In the future, we can use this for better vision prostheses and humanoid robotics,” explained author Zhiyong Fan, PhD. Nature, Science News

    DeepMind claims their AI system can match or outperform human experts in diagnosing macular degeneration. In a new study published in Nature Medicine, the system surpassed 5 out of 6 human experts and was able to predict conversion to wet AMD within a 6-month window. In conservative and liberal configurations to make predictions outside this window, approximately 25% of eyes with false-positive predictions had conversion more than 6 months later. Nature Medicine, Venture Beat

    Results from a study from India highlights the serious psychological toll of the pandemic on ophthalmologists. A survey of 2,355 ophthalmologists and trainees aged 25 to 82 years revealed that nearly 33% had some degree of depression, which is more than 3 times higher than the prevalence of mental disorders among the general Indian population. Levels of depression were higher among younger and nonpracticing ophthalmologists, and approximately 3% reported thoughts of suicide/self-harm. “The national and state ophthalmology societies, health administration, and the government should be cognizant of the need to support the mental health of all the healthcare workers, and not only those in the frontline of the management of COVID-19 infection,” noted Rohit Khanna, MBBS, of L V Prasad Eye Institute. The George Institute for Global Health

    Genentech’s Port Delivery System (PDS) with ranibizumab may effectively minimize treatment burden for wet AMD, according to new phase 3 data. The latest Archway study results show that patients receiving PDS refills every 6 months achieved visual outcomes similar to individuals receiving monthly ranibizumab injections. The implant—which is approximately the size of a grain of rice—was well tolerated and had a favorable benefit-risk profile. Additional trials are underway assessing the port’s long-term safety and tolerability and its potential as a treatment for diabetic macular edema. Genentech

     

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    Don’t miss last week’s roundup: Occupational hazard, Stargardt disease, feathering lens