• By Keng Jin Lee and Kanaga Rajan
    Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease, Retina/Vitreous

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    Novartis’ new anti-VEGF agent brolucizumab is now approved for wet AMD in Europe, 4 months after the drug was cleared by the FDA. The European Commission’s decision is applicable to all 27 European Union member states as well as the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. Novartis

    Chinese scientists say their new smart contact lens could be the ideal tool for diagnosing xerophthalmia and high IOP. Crafted from a biocompatible hydrogel, the lenses are structurally—but not chemically—pigmented and can alter its color in response to changes in moisture and pressure. They report that the lens transforms from red to blue when placed in xerophthalmia-simulating conditions, but remains unchanged in normal eye environments. The team hope this novel device will inspire a new generation of wearable, colorimetric sensing tools that can deliver real-time monitoring of signs and disease. (Image by DU Xuemin) Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

    Alcon’s olopatadine eye drops for allergy itch relief are now cleared for nonprescription use, according to the company’s press release. The FDA approved the adjustment through a process called a prescription-to-over the counter switch. Alcon plans to market both Patanol Solution (olopatadine 0.1%) and Pataday Solution (olopatadine 0.2%) under the Pataday brand name as Pataday Twice Daily Relief and Pataday Once Daily Relief, respectively. The drops are expected to be available in the United States beginning March 2, just in time for allergy season. Alcon, FDA

    Jan Sears, a California Highway Patrol pilot, was temporarily blinded by a blue laser while on duty. "So it’s pitch black and we’re flying and all of the sudden it’s like the sun just came out," he told the local news, explaining that these types of attacks have been on the rise. Luckily, Sears managed to maintain control of his plane but is still experiencing residual effects from the attack in his left eye. His assailant, who was illegally using a high powered laser, was arrested and faces possible jail time. SF gate, CBS 13 Sacramento


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    Don't miss last week's roundup: ROP detection, AMD therapy, DME drops