FEB 15, 2019
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease, Glaucoma, Retina/Vitreous
A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.
A cannabis-based eyedrop for glaucoma is poised for first-in-human trials in Australia. Nemus Biosciences is working with Pharmaceuticals International to develop an eyedrop formulation of their tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) prodrug, NB1111, and test it in patients with mild to moderate glaucoma. Their approach aligns with recent studies showing that THC helps regulate IOP while marijuana’s non-psychoactive ingredient, cannabidiol, may exacerbate it. Nemus Biosciences
Eyenovia says an estimated 4 million Americans could benefit from their IOP-lowering device MicroProst, now that they’ve expanded its indications. After conferring with the FDA, the company broadened their phase 3 trial of the latanoprost microdosing device to include patients with chronic angle-closure glaucoma as well as those with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. “MicroProst may open up possibilities for patients who cannot use current eyedropper treatments due to intolerance to high-volume drug and preservative, inability to correctly instill eye drops or poor compliance,” said Shan Lin, MD, glaucoma specialist at the Glaucoma Center of San Francisco. Eyenovia
GenSight Biologics’ cure for Leber hereditary optic neuropathy failed to meet early milestones in the phase 3 RESCUE trial. Investigators hoped GS010—a gene therapy that counteracts the disease-causing ND4 mutation—might boost visual acuity by 15 letters after 48 weeks of treatment, but it fell short of that goal. GenSight expects efficacy to increase as the trial unfolds, and early findings suggest it might: Participants treated with GS010 were more likely than controls to have 20/200 or better vision at 48 weeks, and about a quarter showed significant boosts in high- or low-contrast visual acuity after treatment. Stay tuned for additional findings from weeks 72 and 96. GenSight Biologics
Touching up a TearCare treatment at 6 months may offer lasting relief for patients with dry eye, a study suggests. The treatment uses soft, flexible thermal devices on the patient’s eyelids to melt meibum. Researchers treated a dozen patients as part of a pilot study, then provided a second treatment 6 months later during an extension phase. Each patient showed continued improvement in dry eye signs and symptoms at 12 months. The system is approved for use in patients with meibomian gland dysfunction, dry eye and blepharitis, but it’s not yet indicated for dry eye. Clinical Ophthalmology
Uncalibrated smartphones can produce inaccurate eye examinations, researchers reported in Nature Scientific Reports. Their study included 192 images of healthy eyes undergoing assessment for conjunctival redness. The images were taken with various smartphones, lighting levels and zoom levels. Uncalibrated images, they found, showed dramatic variation between devices. “This can affect both telemedicine and artificial intelligence applications,” said lead investigator Carles Otero, of Anglia Ruskin’s Vision and Eye Research Institute. Nature Scientific Reports