• By Anni Griswold
    Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Glaucoma, Retina/Vitreous, Uveitis

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    Veterinary ophthalmologists in Wisconsin just celebrated “the best Christmas ever,” thanks to the gift of a massive whale eye. The researchers have curated more than 50,000 eyes from animals as diverse as a duck-billed platypus and a two-toed sloth, but insist the 4-inch eye—likely from a blue whale—is their largest and most exciting specimen yet. All Things Considered, NPR

    A 64-year-old man reached for his timolol eyedrops but accidentally grabbed a near-identical bottle of Boots Clear Nail Glue. He squeezed the fluid into his eye and became one of numerous ‘inadvertent ocular cyanoacrylate instillation’ cases reported since the early 1980s, when eyedrops and superglue began sharing similar packaging. His story appears in a collection of medical reports recently republished by the British Medical Journal. METRO UK

    Scientists have invented a nanosponge that can mop up bacterial infections in the eye. The sponge—a polymeric nanoparticle cloaked in a red blood cell membrane—absorbs toxins released by Enterococcus faecalis, a microbe found in nearly half of all eye infections following surgery, injections or injury. The sponge works well in mice; whether it preserves retinal function in humans remains unclear. American Society for Microbiology

    A record-setting 46 drugs gained FDA approval in 2017 – including two first-in-class glaucoma therapies. The once-daily eyedrops Vyzulta and Rhopressa both use innovative tactics to lower IOP. Experts say the flurry of approvals reflect the high volume of “promise in the pipeline.” FDA/Healio

    Meanwhile, regulatory review of the uveitis drug sirolimus took a step back last month, when the FDA requested additional evidence to support the treatment’s efficacy. Santen Pharmaceutical responded to the decision by voicing support for the approach and announcing that they’ll redouble efforts to market a steroid-sparing therapy for uveitis. Healio

    A phase 1/2 trial suggests eyedrops for wet AMD may soon be a ‘thing’. Eyedrops containing a small molecule inhibitor of integrin αvβ3 (SF0166) appear to reach the back of the eye, hinting that self-administered drops may one day replace injections. Trial participants showed decreased central retinal thickness and subretinal fluid, and a mean 5-letter improvement in visual acuity after a 28-day, twice-daily regimen. Business Wire