• By Anni Griswold and Kanaga Rajan
    Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Neuro-Ophthalmology/Orbit, Oculoplastics/Orbit, Retina/Vitreous

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    Zero, a competitive agility dog, recently retired due to progressive retinal atrophy and declining eyesight. Although prescription canine eyewear like Rex Specs (shown above) is not common, some dogs—like Zero—benefit from glasses that protect eyes from ocular injuries and UV damage, or that correct vision after ocular surgery. Read Zero’s story online. USA Today

    Blink and you might miss the next one: Botulism toxin has been approved as a first-line treatment for blepharospasm. The FDA broadened the indication of incobotulinumtoxinA (Xeomin) after a phase 3 trial showed significant improvements in blepharospasm severity within 6 weeks of injection. Xeomin was originally approved in 2010 for cervical dystonia. Merz

    Some people destined to develop AMD carry a genetic variation that steers blood vessel growth awry long before symptoms appear, researchers announced May 9 in Stem Cell Reports. The newly identified genetic variation reduces expression of the VEGFA gene. “Since current AMD therapies work by inhibiting VEGF, we knew VEGF was involved in AMD,” said investigator Agnieszka D'Antonio-Chronowska, PhD. “This finding could potentially be relevant for the treatment of AMD using anti-VEGF therapeutics.” UC San Diego Health

    The results of GenSight’s phase 3 REVERSE trial are in, and … drum roll, please … the company reports that a single intravitreal injection of the experimental gene therapy GS010 still benefits vision in people with Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy, 2 years after the treatment. By week 96, treated eyes showed 15.4-letter improvements in BCVA compared with baseline. The trial also noted sustained improvements in contrast sensitivity, with no major safety concerns. GenSight

    The investigational drug elamipretide may improve vision in people with dry AMD, according to early findings from Stealth BioTherapeutics’ phase 1 trial. Low-light vision improved by 5.4 letters, on average, in people with non-central geographic atrophy who were treated with subcutaneous elamipretide. BCVA improved by about 4.6 letters. Stealth BioTherapeutics