• By Keng Jin Lee and Kanaga Rajan
    Cataract/Anterior Segment, Cornea/External Disease, Neuro-Ophthalmology/Orbit, Oculoplastics/Orbit, Retina/Vitreous

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    A novel drug for diabetic macular edema appears safe, according to topline data from a phase 1 study. Oxurion’s integrin antagonist THR-687 was well-tolerated with no dose-limiting toxicities or serious adverse events. In addition, the company noted positive effects on vision with a single injection. A phase 2 trial is planned in the second half of 2020. Oxurion NV

    A new microfluidic method for making collagen fibrils could glean new insights into how corneas heal. “How keratocytes repair tissue and why, in some cases, they leave scar tissue, is not well understood,” explained David Schmidtke, PhD, professor of bioengineering at the University of Texas at Dallas. “We came up with a way to mimic an injury model, so we can look at how the cells respond when there is a wound.” His team plans to use this model—which produces structures akin to those in corneal tissue—to dissect how fibrils’ density, elasticity and dimensionality affect keratocyte behavior in the presence of injury. University of Texas at Dallas, Biomedical Microdevices

    Pembrolizumab was identified as the culprit for one woman’s enophthalmos, researchers report in a new Ophthalmology case study. The 59-year-old woman with metastatic melanoma had been receiving the immunotherapy for 1 year when she noticed facial changes, with temporal wasting and sunken eyes despite no changes to her body weight. Her eyes were displaced by about 10 mm and MRI scans revealed significant changes in globe position during a 6-month period. She had no other signs of orbital metastasis, inflammation or other medical or iatrogenic factors to explain her condition. Ophthalmology

    A young gorilla living at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park can see clearly now, following cataract surgery performed by UC San Diego ophthalmologists and the zoo’s veterinary team. “I felt like it was in my wheelhouse, so to speak, because gorillas are so similar to humans as far as the anatomy of the eye is concerned,” explained cataract surgeon Chris Heichel, MD, who performed the procedure. The team did, however, carefully choreograph the day to make sure 3-year-old Leslie—and her mother Kokamo—were not startled by the event. To ease postoperative care, trainers worked for 2 months to acclimate Leslie to receive eye drops and the lens was selected to provide life-long vision. Dr. Heichel even performed a posterior capsulorhexis to minimize the need for postop laser. The procedure appears to be a success thus far; Leslie has returned to her troop without issues. UC San Diego, The San Diego Union-Tribune


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