MAR 01, 2019
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous
A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.
Roche plans to acquire Spark Therapeutics for an estimated $4.3 billion, the biotech giant announced this week. Spark launched Luxturna—the world’s first FDA-approved gene therapy for an inherited disease—in 2017 and the company is currently pursuing novel therapies for hemophilia A and B, choroideremia and other conditions. Assuming the deal closes this spring as expected, Spark will continue operations in Philadelphia as an independent company within the Roche Group. Roche
Ophthalmologists are paid well—but not nearly as well as anesthesiologists, according to a fall 2018 salary survey by MedPage Today. Out of 25 medical specialties, ophthalmology ranked 15th with an average annual base pay of $262,687. Most respondents said they were satisfied with their salary, and the overwhelming majority described the highlight of their job as “caring for people.” The best part? Nearly everyone said they’d choose ophthalmology all over again if they could go back in time. MedPage Today
LumiThera’s photobiomodulation therapy for dry AMD is gearing up for a phase 2 trial at centers across the U.S., thanks to a $2.5 million grant from the National Eye Institute. Investigators will monitor participants’ vision and disease pathology for 2 years after treatment using the Valeda Light Delivery System. The system received a CE mark in Europe last year. LumiThera
Ocutrx Vision Technologies unveiled new augmented reality glasses for people with macular degeneration at this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Oculenz AR Wear glasses feature floating lenses, weigh just 200 grams—less than half as much as previous designs—and are designed to provide a bright, unobstructed field of view along with wide micro-display projection. AP News
Australian scientists have engineered the first mouse model of cone dystrophy with supernormal rod response (CDSRR), a rare inherited condition that affects about 1 in a million children. “We believe this model closely matches what we see in humans with CDSRR and we will be able to use this to validate treatment strategies for CDSRR, better understand the physiology of vision and the pathophysiology of this disorder,” said investigator Livia Carvalho, PhD, a research fellow at the Lyons Eye Institute. The findings appeared earlier this month in eNeuro. University of Western Australia