• By Neasa McGarrigle
    Cataract/Anterior Segment, Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease, Retina/Vitreous

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    A cat named Jinx born with 1 eyelid missing and the other attached to the embryonic band across his cornea has been given a fresh chance at an animal shelter in Michigan. He was transferred to Wisconsin, where surgeons fixed the adhesion on one side and reconstructed the missing eyelid using a piece from the flap of his ear. His doctors expect Jinx should be able to live a normal life without any pain once healed—and a second chance at life in a new home. ABC News

    A gene therapy product for X-linked retinitis pigmentosa gained attention from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) this week. The drug was granted priority medicines and advanced therapy medicinal product designations on top of earlier fast track and orphan designations awarded by both the FDA and EMA. Developed by Janssen and MeiraGTx, the adeno-associated virus product tackles patients with mutations in the RPGR gene, slowing retinal degeneration and preserving visual function. The designations were granted based on data from an ongoing phase 1/2 clinical trial of 46 participants which is expected to conclude in November 2020. Janssen Global

    Kala Pharmaceuticals announced positive results from a phase 3 clinical trial evaluating their dry eye candidate, KPI-121 0.25%. The multicenter, randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial of 901 patients replicated earlier trial results, significantly improving ocular discomfort severity, conjunctival hyperemia and total corneal staining through 15 days. The steroid suspension also benefited a subgroup with more severe baseline discomfort. Adverse events and IOP increases were comparable to placebo. Kala plans to submit a new drug application and expects the FDA’s response by year end. Kala Pharmaceuticals

    The United States becomes the 97th country where the world’s only flying eye hospital has provided training. For the first time, eye care professionals from across Latin America will spend 2 weeks training in Texas on Orbis’s MD-10 aircraft, a fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital with cutting-edge simulation training technology like artificial eyes, virtual reality and life-like mannequins. Cataracts, as the leading cause of blindness in Latin America, will be the major focus. Training will include sessions led by Alcon’s biomedical engineers who will guide participants in simulated practice environments, enhanced wet labs and interactive learning technology. Orbis International