EW Weekly, January 15, 2016

January 15, 2016
Volume 21 , Number 2

First patient dosed in ENV515 glaucoma study

The second cohort of the phase 2 clinical study on extended-release travoprost compound ENV515 has dosed its first patient, developer Envisia Therapeutics (Research Triangle Park, N.C.) said in a press release. 

Glaukos to start phase 2 iDose travoprost study

Glaukos (Laguna Hills, Calif.) has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin a phase 2 study of its travoprost intraocular implant with the iDose delivery system in patients with glaucoma, according to a company news release.

Ocriplasmin starts phase 2 study on NPDR

The first patient has been enrolled in a phase 2 CIRCLE study evaluating the efficacy and safety of multiple doses of ocriplasmin in inducing total posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) in patients with non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), developer ThromboGenics (Leuven, Belgium) said in a press release.

"Hidden" risk factors for keratoconus identified

Researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, have identified previously unknown risk factors associated with keratoconus, the university said in a press release. After evaluating data from health insurance claims, half of them from more than 16,000 people with confirmed keratoconus and half from an equal number of people with similar characteristics but no keratoconus, the researchers found men, African-Americans and Latinos, and people with asthma, sleep apnea or Down syndrome, have much higher odds of developing keratoconus. But females, Asian-Americans and people with diabetes appear to have a lower risk, the analysis shows.

Multiple screens contribute to high rates of eye strain

A nationwide survey found 65% of Americans experience symptoms of digital eye strain, such as dry, irritated eyes, blurred vision, neck and back pain, and headaches, according to The Vision Council (Alexandria, Va.). The group surveyed more than 10,000 adults in the U.S. and found:

Three glaucoma-related genes identified

Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI, Bethesda, Md.) have identified 3 genes that contribute to the most common type of glaucoma, the NEI said on its website. The researchers compared the DNA of 3,853 people of European ancestry with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) to a similar group of 33,480 people without POAG. 

Geoff Tabin, MD, to receive humanitarian award

Geoff Tabin, MD, co-founder of the Himalayan Cataract Project, will receive the 2016 Biosyntrx Thornton Humanitarian Award, to be presented next week during the Hawaiian Eye meeting. This annual cash award is divided between a deserving individual, the nonprofit organization he or she works with, and the Hawaiian Eye Foundation.


  • Iris ring implantation during cataract surgery was an effective procedure for increasing vision and reducing glare disability in patients with oculocutaneous albinism (OCA), according to a study. In this consecutive, clinical case series, A. Farahi and colleagues enrolled 12 eyes of 6 patients with OCA that underwent phacoemulsification and posterior chamber intraocular lens implantation and had 2 Morcher aniridia rings (types 50 F or 50 E) inserted intracapsularly. None of the patients had any intraoperative or postoperative complications. In addition to improved uncorrected and corrected distance visual acuity and significant reduction of refractive error, all patients had a marked reduction of glare and photophobia after surgery. The study is published in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.
  • Plasma rich in growth factor (PRGF) eye drops could be a safe and effective treatment option for refractory cases of ocular surface disorders, according to J. Merayo-Lloves and colleagues. Their retrospective cohort study included cases with ocular surface disease refractory to previous treatment with conventional treatments or autologous serum or cyclosporine and treated with PRGF eye drops. The signs and symptoms of ocular surface disorders (using the Ocular Surface Disease Index [OSDI], best corrected visual acuity [BCVA], visual analog scale [VAS] frequency and VAS severity) were evaluated before and after treatment with PRGF. There were 41 patients (80 treated eyes) evaluated. Statistically significant reductions in the OSDI scale (39.27%), VAS frequency (38.9%) and VAS severity (40.3%), and a significant improvement in BCVA (54.86%) were all observed (p<0.05) in the treated eyes. There were only 2 adverse events (eye redness and eyelid inflammation), which were reported as mild and resolved in a few days. The study is published in Ophthalmic Research.
  • In a study that compared rim area rates in patients with and without the visual field (VF) progression endpoint in the Canadian Glaucoma Study and determined whether intraocular pressure (IOP) reduction following the endpoint altered rim area rate, patients with a visual field endpoint had a median rim area rate that was nearly 3 times worse than those without an endpoint. In their prospective, multicenter cohort study, R. Malik and colleagues examined 206 patients with open-angle glaucoma at 4-month intervals with standard automated perimetry and confocal scanning laser tomography. Patients with an endpoint (n=59) had a worse rim area rate prior to the endpoint compared to those without (n=147; P=.02). In univariate analysis, there was no difference in rim area rate before and after the endpoint, but the multivariate analysis showed that IOP reduction >2 mm Hg after the endpoint was strongly linked to a reduction in rim area rate decline (8�10-3 mm2/y for each additional 1 mm Hg reduction). The study is published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

EYEWORLD WEEK Online is edited by Stacy Majewicz and Michelle Dalton.

EyeWorld Week Online (ISSN 1089-0319), a digital publication of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators, is published every Friday, distributed by email, and posted live on Friday.

Medical Editors: Eric Donnenfeld, MD, chief medical editor; Rosa Braga-Mele, MD, cataract editor; Clara Chan, MD, cornea editor; Nathan Radcliffe, MD, glaucoma editor; and Vance Thompson, MD, refractive editor.

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