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

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    Sales of aflibercept (Eylea) jumped 17% in the last quarter, enabling Regeneron to beat second-quarter profit estimates. The anti-VEGF drug raked in $1.16 billion in U.S. sales—more than half of the company’s total revenue of $1.93 billion. Nasdaq

    A new anti-VEGF with extended dosing intervals may soon be available in Europe, according to an announcement by Molecular Partners and Allergan. The companies submitted a marketing authorization application for abicipar pegol to the European Medicines Agency. If approved, abicipar would be the first anti-VEGF agent capable of sustaining vision gains on a 12-week dosing interval. Molecular Partners

    Filmmaker Rodney Evans is still making movies, despite having lost much of his vision to retinitis pigmentosa. His new documentary, “Vision Portraits,” chronicles the journey of 4 blind or visually impaired artists, including himself, and how they continue to work despite their disability. “All of that just became really fascinating to me, just how each artist tackled the obstacles of blindness and low vision and continue to create their art.” NPR Fresh Air

    Engineers from the University of Pennsylvania have developed an in vitro eye model that mimics dry eye disease, complete with a blinking eyelid. The model, detailed in Nature Medicine, features human eye cells grown on a dime-sized porous scaffold and a gelatin “eyelid” that spreads artificial tears (above). “Although we have just demonstrated proof-of-concept,” explained researcher Jeongyun Seo, “I hope our eye-on-a-chip platform is further advanced and used for a variety of applications besides drug screening, such as testing of contact lenses and eye surgeries in the future.” University of Pennsylvania, Nature Medicine

    Opthea’s combination therapy for wet AMD met its primary endpoint in a phase 2b trial. Patients who received the novel VEGF-C/VEGF-D inhibitor with ranibizumab gained 3.4 more letters than controls who were treated with ranibizumab alone. “OPT-302 has the potential to be a game-changer in the treatment landscape not just for wet AMD but also for other debilitating retinal vascular diseases where there remains a significant unmet medical need for more efficacious therapies,” commented study investigator Pravin Dugel, MD. Opthea

     

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    Don’t miss last week’s roundup: Bionic eyes, red flag, survey says