EW Weekly, February 26, 2016

February 26, 2016
Volume 21 , Number 8

Retinal detachment druggranted orphan drug status

The Food and Drug Administration has granted orphan drug designation to ONL1204, a novel, first-in-class small molecule peptide designed to protect key retinal cells from cell death, for the treatment of retinal detachment, developer ONL Therapeutics (Ann Arbor, Michigan) said in a news release. ONL Therapeutics expects to advance ONL1204 into clinical trials for retinal detachment patients in 2016. ONL1204 will be delivered to patients upon diagnosis and is intended to block photoreceptor cells from dying until surgery can be completed.

Fast vision loss in glaucoma linked to depression

New research shows that the faster glaucoma patients lose their vision, the more signs of depression they show, according to a study published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (San Francisco). Alberto Diniz-Filho, MD, and colleagues at the University of California, San Diego performed visual field tests to evaluate the vision of 102 glaucoma patients. The study participants filled out depression questionnaires. Doctors found those who were losing vision at a quicker rate reported more signs of depression than patients with slower rates of vision loss.

First 'bionic vision system' implanted in RP patient

The IRIS II, an epiretinal implant with 150 electrodes, intended for patients who have lost sight as a result of retinitis pigmentosa (RP), has been implanted in the first human patient, developer Pixium Vision (Paris) said in a news release. Postop, the patient reported first perception of light; clinical protocol dictates that the patient now enter training to learn how to interpret light signals. Up to 10 patients will be included in the ongoing clinical trial in several specialized centers in Europe; pending CE mark approval, the device is expected to be available in mid-2016.

Wills Eye Hospital names Leslie Hyman, PhD, vice chair of research

Wills Eye Hospital (Philadelphia) named Leslie Hyman, PhD, to spearhead the expansion of the hospital's research program as its vice chair for research, the hospital announced. Dr. Hyman is an ocular epidemiologist who has published work in seminal vision research studies, including the Correction of Myopia Evaluation Trial (COMET) Eye Study, the Early Manifest Glaucoma Trial (EMGT), and the Barbados Eye Study. Dr. Hyman will assume her duties this summer.

Mark Packer, MD, named CMO of Cassini

Mark Packer, MD, has been named chief medical officer (CMO) for the Cassini (i-Optics, The Hague, Netherlands), the company announced. Cassini launched the Total Corneal Astigmatism analyzer in 2015; the Cassini is integrated as the preop diagnostic platform with the LENSAR (Orlando, Florida) Streamline laser.


  • Trabecular micro-bypass stent implantation during cataract surgery was safe and effective in patients with ocular hypertension or glaucoma as measured by a sustained reduction in intraocular pressure and medication use and an excellent safety profile through 3 years after surgery, according to Thomas Neuhann, MD. He evaluated the long-term safety and efficacy of the iStent trabecular micro-bypass stent (Glaukos, Laguna Hills, California) during cataract surgery in 62 eyes of 43 patients with primary open-angle, pseudoexfoliation glaucoma, ocular hypertension, or secondary or post-traumatic glaucoma. A single stent was implanted through the same temporal, limbal incision used for cataract surgery via phacoemulsification. Of the 41 eyes with 3 years of follow-up, mean preoperative IOP was 24.1±6.9 mm Hg on a mean of 1.8 medications (±0.9). Analyses of eyes with no secondary surgical intervention showed mean IOP reduction to 14.8±4.2 mm Hg at 12 months (n=61), 14.5±2.2 mm Hg at 24 months (n=42), and 14.9±2.3 mm Hg at 36 months (n=39). Medications were eliminated in 74% of eyes at 36 months. Five eyes, 4 with previous glaucoma surgeries and 1 with pseudoexfoliation syndrome, required additional glaucoma surgery after stent implantation. The study is published in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.
  • A multicenter collaborative study suggests that IOP-lowering efficacy of travoprost ophthalmic solution persists during the day at the clinically relevant level in subjects with normal tension glaucoma (NTG). T. Naito and colleagues evaluated 30 subjects (12 males and 18 females; mean age 65.6 years) with newly diagnosed NTG or with NTG who had not received any ocular hypotensives within the previous 30 days. Subjects were given travoprost once daily at 9 p.m. The mean IOPs of 16.6±1.4, 15.7±1.8, and 15.7±2.2 mm Hg at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m., respectively, at baseline reduced significantly to the mean IOPs of 13.0±1.8, 12.7±1.8, and 12.8±1.6 mm Hg, respectively, at week 12 (P<0.0001 for every time point). Together with the mean IOPs of 13.4±1.9 mm Hg at week 4 and 13.2±1.9 mm Hg at week 8, the pooled IOP during the observation period for up to 12 weeks showed a statistically and clinically significant reduction of IOP at 9 a.m. (3.4 mm Hg or 20.3% reduction from baseline, P<0.0001). The study is published online ahead of print in Advanced Therapeutics.
  • A new study concludes the Lentis Mplus toric LU-313 30TY IOLs (Oculentis, Berlin) provided excellent visual and optical performance during a 3-month follow-up. The preoperative pupil size is an important parameter when this toric multifocal IOL model is contemplated for surgery, according to M. Wang and colleagues. They prospectively enrolled 27 eyes (16 patients) to evaluate correlations between preoperative pupil parameters (diameter and decentration) and 3-month postoperative visual outcomes. Statistically significant improvements in visual and refractive performances were found after the implantation of Lentis Mplus toric LU-313 30TY IOLs (P<.05). Statistically significant correlations were present between preoperative pupil diameters and postoperative visual acuities (VA). Patients with a larger pupil always have better postoperative visual acuities. Meanwhile, there was no statistically significant correlation between pupil decentration and VA. The study is published in the Journal of Refractive Surgery.

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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