• By Kanaga Rajan and Keng Jin Lee
    Cornea/External Disease, Glaucoma, Retina/Vitreous

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    Surgeons have replaced the ocular surface of 4 patients with chemical burns, announced Massachusetts Eye and Ear. The impressive feat—the first of its kind to occur in the United States—was accomplished using a technique called cultivated autologous limbal epithelial cell transplantation (CALEC). In this protocol, surgeons collect limbal stem cells from the patient’s healthy eye and grow them on a membrane substrate that can be subsequently transplanted onto the patient’s damaged cornea. “If we continue to be successful we will be able to give these patients with this condition a healthy surface of the eye—and possibly even restore vision to some,” said Ula Jurkunas, MD, the study’s lead investigator. Massachusetts Eye and Ear

    Say goodbye to TrueTear: Allergan has decided to shut down manufacturing and sales of the dry eye device. “This has nothing to do with the safety or efficacy of the product,” the company announced on their website. Instead, the decision may have stemmed from the fact that the neurostimulator was just too expensive to produce. Allergan says they will issue full refunds to patients who purchased the device within the last 3 years. TrueTear, Healio

    The widespread use of face masks is leading to an uptick in dry eye cases, experts say. A review by the Centre of Ocular Research & Education finds that masks—crucial for the fight against COVID-19—lead to a forced stream of air over the surface of the eye, accelerating tear film evaporation and ocular discomfort. In addition, patients with pre-existing dry eye disease can exhibit worsening symptoms. They are recommending clinicians include dry eye screening questions for all patients. Centre of Ocular Research & Education

    New data from Sight Sciences highlight the OMNI Surgical System’s potential for open-angle glaucoma. The device is designed to deliver small amounts of viscoelastic fluid during surgery and cut trabecular meshwork tissue. According to the interim results, 73% of the 76 patients studied were medication free at 6 months and achieved a mean IOP reduction of 40% from baseline; 95% had an IOP reduction of 20% or more. Adverse events were minor, transient and self-limiting. “The reductions in IOP and medication use, or freedom from medications in most cases thus far, can have a truly meaningful positive impact on the quality of life for patients living with glaucoma,” said ophthalmologist Anita Campbell, MD, who presented the data at the Women in Ophthalmology 2020 symposium. Sight Science

    Outlook Therapeutics’ ophthalmic formulation of bevacizumab appears as safe and effective as ranibizumab, according to new topline results. The new findings reveal that a similar proportion of patients with wet AMD in both treatment arms achieved a BCVA of more than 15 letters at 11 months. “Although a small study, we are excited to see that both the efficacy signals that we anticipated in NORSE 1 for an ophthalmic bevacizumab as well as the clinical safety data are consistent with previously published results for ophthalmic bevacizumab,” said the company’s medical advisor Mark Humayun, MD, PhD. Outlook Therapeutics


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    Don’t miss last week’s roundup: Optical illusion, eye mask, crocodile tears