JUL 17, 2020
Cataract/Anterior Segment, Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease
A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.
An experimental myeloma drug is facing scrutiny over its ocular side effects. According to a report in Reuters, the FDA is concerned about the frequency of keratopathy among patients treated with belantamab mafodotin. In the 100-patient, mid-stage study, 27% of patients developed “medically severe” keratopathy. Manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline remains confident in the benefit/risk profile of the drug, and proposes it should be managed through modifying or interrupting the course of treatment. Reuters
An eye drop for cataract is $1.6 million closer to becoming reality. The NEI awarded Plex Pharmaceuticals 2 grants for their topical drug that modulates alpha-A-crystallin to reverse, slow or prevent cataract formation. The company has 2 drug candidates that have shown promising in vitro and ex vivo efficacy in multiple cataract models and in vivo safety. Plex Pharmaceuticals
A treatment for corneal perforations … without transplantation? According to Montreal scientists, it may be possible using their revolutionary new treatment LiQD Cornea. The synthetic, biocompatible and cell-free liquid hydrogel adheres to the cornea and promotes tissue regeneration. In animal models, injected LiQD Cornea—which does not require light activation—takes about 5 minutes to undergo gelation. The authors claim its similarity to syngeneic grafts, cost effectiveness and reduced risk of immune rejection may help overcome the current worldwide shortage of donor corneas. Université de Montréal
Long-term use of spectral notch filters may enhance color vision in individuals who are red-green color blind, according to scientists from UC Davis. In their 10-person study, wearing EnChroma glasses for 2 weeks boosted chromatic contrast response, with benefits lingering even once the glasses were off. That effect cannot be accomplished using broad-band filters sold as aids for color blindness, explained the study’s lead investigator John Werner, PhD. Instead, the team believes that modifications to photoreceptor signals may initiate a plastic post-receptoral substrate in the brain that could be used for visual rehabilitation. UC Davis Health
The eyes of snapping shrimp refresh their field of view an astonishing 160 times each second, placing them among the fasted animal eyes on Earth. For context, humans sample their view 60 times a second and the only eyes faster than these shrimp eyes are those of flying diurnal insects. Until recently, it was believed that Alpheus heterochaelis had poor eyesight due to the hard hood covering its eyes. Since snapping shrimp live in cloudy, turbid oyster reefs, the current working theory is that their speedy eyes help them detect sudden encounters with nearby objects or animals. Science