• By Anni Delfaro
    Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease, Pediatric Ophth/Strabismus, Retina/Vitreous

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    Surgeons in New Delhi discovered something surprising in the eye of 5-year-old boy with elevated IOP: a curved metal needle entangled in his iris. Turns out, the needle was left behind during a bilateral surgery for congenital glaucoma 4 years prior and escaped notice, causing no long-term effects. The initial surgery was performed somewhere else, the authors note, with no records to explain how it happened. But evidence shows the explanted needle is comparable to an Ethilon 10-0 monofilament nylon needle by Johnson & Johnson. Mysterious! Ophthalmology

    Blink twice to zoom in, twice more to zoom out. Scientists have created contact lenses that sense and respond to electric impulses generated when eyes blink or look up, down, left or right. The lenses are made of electroactive polymer films that act as miniature touchpads (shown above) to change the lens curvature on demand. Scientists say this human-machine interface could be used to control visual prostheses, adjustable glasses and remote-controlled robotics. Just don’t accidentally blink while driving. Advanced Functional Materials, CNET

    What do our eyes have in common with the compound eyes of 54-million-year-old crane flies? A natural pigment called eumelanin. Scientists didn’t think melanic screening pigments existed in arthropods, but this Nature paper shows they do. The realization has urged scientists to re-examine the optical systems of other ancient arthropods. Lund University, Nature

    Alembic just released another generic—this time a therapeutic equivalent of Merck’s Trusopt, an IOP-lowering drug for people with ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma. The company has released a number of ophthalmic drugs in the past year, including equivalents to Diamox, Tobrex and Patanol. Their newest release—the carbonic anhydrase inhibitor dorzolamide hydrochloride 2%—has an estimated market value of $35 million for 12 months. Alembic Pharmaceuticals

    The FDA rejected Kala’s new drug application for KPI-121, a nanoparticle-based drop for dry eye disease. Two phase 3 trials hinted that the drops improve eye redness and may also alleviate discomfort. But regulators are now asking for an additional trial in 900 patients, with modified exclusion/inclusion criteria, to confirm these effects. There are no FDA-approved products for the short-term treatment of dry eye disease, the company noted, so KPI-121 could be first in line. Kala Pharmaceuticals