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

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    The FDA has cleared a new retinal imager capable of measuring blood flow. Vasoptic says their XyCAM RI device enables clinicians to noninvasively assess the vascular status of the retina, which could inform decisions that impact vision and quality of life. Vasoptic

    In more regulatory news, the agency has also approved a new objective sign for treatment of dry eye disease. Aldeyra Therapeutics reports that the precytokine proinflammatory mediator RASP is the first novel dry eye sign in over a decade, correlating with the disease’s symptoms and signs. Their investigational first-in-class drug reproxalap was able to reduce tear RASP levels within 28 days of treatment and has showed clinically relevant activity in dry eye disease, allergic conjunctivitis and other forms of ocular inflammation. Aldeyra expects to release future plans after receiving FDA meeting minutes this July. Aldeyra Therapeutics

    A new discovery suggests humans are largely unaware of color in their peripheral vision. The findings came from a VR-based study where researchers immersed participants in a 360-degree environment and employed eye-tracking to desaturate scenes in the periphery. “We were amazed by how oblivious participants were when color was removed from up to 95 percent of their visual world,” said senior author and Dartmouth assistant professor Caroline Robertson, PhD. “Our results show that our intuitive sense of a rich, colorful visual world is largely incorrect. Our brain is likely filling-in much of our perceptual experience.” Dartmouth

    Promising findings emerged from a phase 1/2a study evaluating a dry AMD therapy. Lineage Cell Therapeutics reports that a patient with atrophic end-stage disease who received a transplant of allogeneic retinal pigment epithelium cells showed “substantial restoration” of retinal tissue. The area of geographic atrophy shrank by about 25% at 9 months after the procedure. This early finding supports the view that dry AMD is not an irreversible, degenerative condition, and that some portion of the diseased retinal tissue can be rescued. Lineage Cell Therapeutics

    Two major medical journals have retracted high-profile COVID-19 papers after researchers were unable to validate the data collected by the company Surgisphere. These papers claimed that hydroxychloroquine could cause serious harm in patients with COVID-19 (The Lancet) and that blood pressure drugs may not increase mortality (NEJM). As discrepancies in the data began to arise, 3 authors who were on both papers attempted to conduct an independent peer review but were blocked by Surgisphere who refused to provide the primary data. A third study using Surgisphere data on the use of ivermectin was published as a preprint and has also been pulled. As a result, several hydroxychloroquine studies that halted because of these retracted papers are now trying to restart. Science