MAY 08, 2020
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease, Glaucoma
A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.
Dextenza may be a safe and effective drop-free therapy for allergic conjunctivitis, according to new phase 3 findings. Already approved for postoperative inflammation and pain, the bioresorbable, intracanalicular insert reduced ocular itching by day 8 through at least day 15, with a favorable safety profile and no serious adverse events. “There is a large unmet need for a potent, hands-free and preservative-free topical anti-inflammatory medication for those subjects who need more than what is currently available to them,” explained Ocular Therapeutix’s chief medical officer, Michael Goldstein, MD, adding that it would be invaluable given the current pandemic. The company will seek the FDA’s approval for expanding Dextenza’s indications once the trial is complete. Ocular Therapeutix
Researchers have discovered an eye drainage system that may lead to a new understanding of glaucoma. It turns out the ocular glymphatic system—the mechanism that enables the brain to clear neurotoxic proteins such as amyloid-beta—may also remove metabolites and debris in the eye. In mice, amyloid-beta introduced to the vitreous humor was cleared from the eye through the space surrounding optic nerve veins. This clearance pathway was impaired in rodent models of glaucoma, the researchers noted, suggesting the glymphatic system in the eye might contribute to the disease pathophysiology. The Scientist
Scientists from USC have developed a new super-resolution ultrasound technique that unveils previously unreachable depths. Using high frequency ultrasound wave and plane wave illumination, the technique captures the choroidal and retrobulbar blood vessels deep in the eye that current imaging technology cannot reach. A microbubble breaks the diffraction limit to improve image resolution. The team is in the process of creating a new device for the technique, which will enable the entire volume of the eye to be seen at once in real time. USC Viterbi
Glaucoma may one day be treatable by a single gene therapy injection. Researchers at Bristol University have designed a gene therapy CRISPR treatment to inactivate the aquaporin 1 gene in the ciliary body. Their findings, published in Molecular Therapy, offer proof of concept in mouse models and human donor tissue. They are now negotiating with industry partners to progress towards clinical trials. University of Bristol
Louisiana State University Healthcare Network is providing drive-through eye pressure checks for glaucoma patients in New Orleans amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The appointment-based service ensures patients receive a quick check by a technician—decked in full PPE—followed by a telehealth visit or phone call with a physician. “COVID-19 times call for unique ways to check eye pressure in glaucoma patients,” said glaucoma specialist Lena Al-Dujaili, MD. “It’s a good alternative to having an in-office visit.” WGNO AB