NOV 01, 2019
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease, Glaucoma, Retina/Vitreous
A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.
Halloween is all fun and games … until those store-bought contacts get suctioned to your eyes. A 19-year-old Cleveland woman was rushed to the emergency room after realizing she couldn’t remove costume lenses meant to turn her brown eyes blue. The lenses, purchased at a neighborhood beauty supply store, were too tight for her eyes and left her with corneal abrasions. The story is a reminder to steer clear of over-the-counter lenses, says her treating physician, Thomas L. Steinemann, MD, a professor of ophthalmology at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. Otherwise, Steinemann told TODAY, “you’re going to buy a product that is not approved by the FDA and is quite possibly a tainted product.” TODAY
Iveric bio’s complement C5 inhibitor slowed geographic atrophy in a study of 286 patients with dry AMD, the company reported. The phase 2b trial found that avacincaptad pegol (Zimura) reduced the average rate of atrophy by 28% compared with sham-treated controls. No serious adverse events have been reported, and patients will continue treatment for another 6 months. Iveric bio
Genentech’s satralizumab for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder is inching closer to approval. The FDA accepted the drug’s biologics license application this week after awarding it Breakthrough Therapy designation last year. The application cites a pair of phase 3 studies showing the efficacy and safety of satralizumab as a monotherapy and in combination with baseline immunosuppressants. Patients self-administer the treatment under their skin every 4 weeks. If approved, satralizumab would be the first treatment to target the interleukin-6 receptor, a key driver of the disease. Genentech
The National Institute on Aging awarded a $17.2M grant to an ophthalmologist studying the link between aging eyes and the brain. Cecilia Lee, MD, an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, has already established ties between Alzheimer’s disease and 3 degenerative diseases: AMD, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. She’ll use the new funds to search for eye-related biomarkers that point to an elevated risk of Alzheimer disease. University of Washington