JAN 19, 2018
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Glaucoma, Vision Rehabilitation
A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.
The FDA is asking big pharma to voluntarily release clinical trial findings that are normally kept under wraps. The agency hopes their new pilot program will enhance the transparency of drug approval decisions, which came under fire last week when STAT reported that only 72% of required results are actually disclosed on ClinicalTrials.gov. FDA/STAT
Spark Therapeutics should slash the price of Luxturna by 75%, according to an economic analysis by the Institute for Clinical Evaluation and Review (ICER). The independent nonprofit evaluated the long-term societal benefits of reversing inherited blindness and came up with a ballpark range of $153,000 to $217,000 — a fraction of the gene therapy’s actual $850,000 price. Forbes/PBS
Scientists say prolonged exposure to sex hormones can alter cells in a decidedly nonreproductive part of the body: the retina. The team studied how the rise and fall of sex hormones over a lifetime influences conditions like AMD, but they say their findings carry unexpected relevance for transgender people seeking sex reassignment. Journal of Cellular Physiology
Meanwhile, a gene therapy for glaucoma may be one step closer to fruition. Ophthalmology researchers from Wisconsin have engineered a viral vector that sidesteps the immune system to deliver target genes into the trabecular meshwork. The pair says they’ve also identified a few genes that, upon delivery, could “unplug the [meshwork] drain”. MedicalXpress
Scientists are studying the evolution of tiny spider and insect eyes in hopes of engineering super-powered visual sensors. The team envisions sensors that are “small enough to be easily swallowed as a pill for endoscopic work.” EurekAlert!