• By Keng Jin Lee and Kanaga Rajan
    Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Glaucoma, Oculoplastics/Orbit, Retina/Vitreous

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    Bascom Palmer Eye Institute has been voted as the nation’s best in ophthalmology, marking the 17th consecutive year it has snagged the top spot in the Best Hospitals for Ophthalmology survey by U.S. News & World Report. Wills Eye Hospital and Wilmer Eye Institute came in at second and third place, respectively. The annual best hospitals list is based on data from nearly 5,000 medical centers and survey responses from more than 30,000 physicians. U.S. News & World Report

    Early findings hint that vitamin B3 could improve visual function in patients with glaucoma. In the 57-patient study, researchers randomized participants to high daily doses of nicotinamide or placebo for 12 weeks in addition to regular IOP treatment. The regimen was effective in about a quarter of the cohort, who showed significant improvement in inner retinal function. Further studies are underway to assess the effects of longā€term nicotinamide supplementation. Centre for Eye Research Australia, Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology

    Novartis claims brolucizumab (Beovu) offers superior fluid control over aflibercept in patients with wet AMD. According to a new post-hoc analysis of the HAWK and HARRIER trials, more than 50% of patients treated with brolucizumab achieved sustained retinal dryness 4 weeks earlier than with aflibercept, and with fewer injections. The data, which was presented at the recent 2020 ASRS meeting, is a bit of positive press for the drug after postmarketing safety concerns arose earlier this year. Novartis

    A novel gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases has won its third orphan drug designation, according to a press release by Ocugen. The treatment OCU400 now has the FDA’s backing for the treatment of RHO mutation-associated retinal degeneration in addition to previous support for NR2E3 and CEP290-associated conditions. According to a recent study in Nature Gene Therapy, manipulation of OCU400’s target pathway confers broad-spectrum therapeutic benefits to 5 mouse models of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). “We believe OCU400 has the potential to address multiple genetic mutations associated with RP and, therefore, help a broader pool of patients,” explained Mohamed Genead, MD, Ocugen’s chief medical officer and retina scientific advisory board chair. Ocugen

    Santen and RVL Pharmaceuticals announced an exclusive license agreement for ex-U.S. rights to the newly approved blepharoptosis drug, oxymetazoline hydrochloride 0.1% (Upneeq). The agreement covers development, registration and commercialization rights for the once-daily topical drug in Japan, China and other Asian countries as well as countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Under the terms of the deal, Osmotica will receive up to $89 million in upfront and milestone payments in addition to future royalties on sales in Santen’s territories. Santen Pharmaceuticals