EW Weekly, April 29, 2016

April 29, 2016
Volume 21 , Number 16

Zuprata achieves primary endpoint in Tanzanite study

A proprietary formulation of triamcinolone acetonide (Zuprata, Clearside Biomedical, Alpharetta, Georgia) achieved its primary endpoint in the Tanzanite study, which evaluated Zuprata with intravitreal aflibercept for the treatment of macular edema associated with retinal vein occlusion (RVO). Preliminary results from the phase 2 study found patients in the active arm (concomitant administration of Zuprata and aflibercept) had approximately 60% fewer aflibercept treatments than patients randomized to the aflibercept-only group during the 3-month observation period that followed the initial treatment (P=.013). Further, patients in the combination arm achieved a 19-letter average gain after 3 months, compared to an 11-letter average gain in the aflibercept-only arm. Patients in the combined arm also had a sustained mean reduction in central subfield thickness (400 μm) through 3 months, whereas the reduction declined in the aflibercept-only arm. The Tanzanite study is the first controlled, randomized, masked study conducted in patients with RVO where the study drug is administered through the suprachoroidal space.

Bausch + Lomb plans to file for regulatory approval of CTR

In a letter to eyecare professionals, Bausch + Lomb (Bridgewater, New Jersey) noted plans to file the FortifEYE capsular tension ring (CTR) for U.S. regulatory approval in the next few months.

Grapes may support ocular health

Compounds found in grapes may help protect against eye disease, according to new research led by researchers at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The study showed that a diet supplemented with grapes was able to counter damage from oxidative stress and preserve retinal structure and function in a laboratory model of retinal degeneration, the university said. The study was funded by the California Table Grape Commission; researchers investigated whether a diet supplemented with grapes, in the form of whole grape freeze-dried powder, would protect the photoreceptors of the retina from degeneration induced by acute oxidative stress. Mice were fed the grape-supplemented diet (corresponding to about 3 servings per day for humans), a sugar-matched control diet, or a normal chow control diet. Both retinal structure and function were preserved in the mice consuming the grape-enriched diet, where they maintained their retinal thickness, the quantity of photoreceptors, and the amount of photoreceptor activity, despite the elevated oxidative stress conditions. Conversely, in the non-grape consuming group, retinas were damaged, displaying holes and lesions, and with a significant decrease in thickness.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers use Google Glass to help low-vision patients

Researchers from the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School (Boston) developed a smartphone application that projects a magnified smartphone screen to Google Glass, which users can navigate using head movements to view a corresponding portion of the magnified screen. The technology can potentially benefit low-vision users, many of whom find the smartphone's built-in zoom feature to be difficult to use due to the loss of context, the university said. Magnification is considered the most effective method of compensating for visual loss in low-vision patients. The researchers developed the head-motion application to address the limitations of conventional smartphone screen zooming, which does not provide sufficient context and can be painstaking to navigate. Results showed the head-based navigation method reduced the average trial time compared to conventional manual scrolling by about 28%.

Topical oligonucleotide shows potential for corneal wounds

RXI-109, a topical oligonucleotide currently in human clinical trials for dermal scarring and subretinal fibrosis associated with late stage age-related macular degeneration, formulated in a gel resulted in delivery throughout the cornea in the presence of a corneal wound in vivo, according to developer RXi Pharmaceuticals (Marlborough, Massachusetts). RXI-109, a self-delivering rxRNA compound, is designed to silence connective tissue growth factor (CTGF). A phase 1/2 clinical trial is currently evaluating the safety and clinical activity of RXI-109 to prevent the progression of retinal scarring. In addition, a phase 2 clinical trial is evaluating RXI-109 as a treatment to reduce the recurrence of hypertrophic scars following scar revision surgery. More than 100 subjects have been treated with RXI-109 by intradermal injection in all trials to date, and multiple intradermal injections were well tolerated at all dose levels. RXI-109 was shown to cause a dose-dependent silencing of CTGF messenger RNA and protein levels in the treated areas of the skin compared to placebo, and preliminary results from phase 2a studies indicate a clinical effect on scar appearance.


  • Mathematical modeling showed that glistenings in multifocal IOLs lead to a reduction in modulation transfer function (MTF) of the IOL and the pseudophakic eye, according to a new study. E. DeHoog and A. Doraiswamy constructed a pseudophakic eye model in Zemax, an optical ray-tracing program, using the Arizona eye model as the basis. The Mie scattering theory was used to describe the intensity and direction of light as it scattered for a spherical particle immersed in a diffractive multifocal IOL. As predicted by the Mie theory, the amount of scatter was a function of the change in the refractive index, size of the scatterer, and volume fraction of the scatterers. This modeling showed that an increase in density of glistenings can lead to a significant drop of MTF of the IOL. This effect was more pronounced in multifocal IOLs than in monofocal IOLs. The study is published in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.
  • Topical instillation of diquafosol sodium (DQS) increased aqueous tear volume on the ocular surface of dry eye patients with Sj�gren's syndrome (SS), with its action being independent of lacrimal gland function, according to N. Yokoi and colleagues. They enrolled 17 dry eye patients with SS (1 male and 16 females; mean age: 66.4 years) who underwent topical instillation of 2 ophthalmic solutions, artificial tears (AT) in 1 eye and DQS in the fellow eye, in a masked manner. Topical instillation of DQS significantly increased the tear meniscus radius (TMR) at 15min (mean: 0.21±0.08 [SD]mm) compared with at baseline (mean: 0.16±0.07mm) (P<0.001, paired t-test), whereas AT had no effect at baseline (mean: 0.18±0.09mm) or at 15min (mean: 0.18±0.09mm). The visual VAS score of wetness at 15 minutes post-instillation increased in both groups compared with at baseline. In the DQS-treated eyes, the post-instillation change in TMR from baseline was not correlated with the baseline value of the Schirmer test, corneal staining score, or conjunctival staining score. The study is published online ahead of print in Eye.
  • Performing a 27-gauge pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) with silicone oil (SO) injection appears safe, is efficient, and may be considered for the surgical management of vitreoretinal diseases requiring SO tamponade, according to O. Toygar and colleagues. In their retrospective review of a consecutive interventional case series, 21 eyes (19 patients) underwent transconjunctival sutureless 27-gauge PPV with either 1000-cS (16 eyes) or 5000-cS (5 eyes) SO tamponade. No intraoperative complications occurred. Mean preoperative best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was 20/300 (range, light perception to 20/40; median, counting fingers). Mean postoperative BCVA was 20/160 (p=0.022). Follow-up was 6.4±8.8 months (range, 1-38 months; median, 4 months). No complications relating to 27-gauge placement of SO were observed. The study is published in Graefe's Archives of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology.


    iViews Imaging System (Dunedin, Florida) launched the iViews Paxos Scope and the iViews D-EYE. The Paxos Scope is the first combined anterior and posterior segment mobile imaging system available for smartphones, incorporating advanced technology licensed from Stanford University, the company noted. D-EYE works on the principles of direct ophthalmology and leverages the smartphone autofocus capability to account for a patient's refractive error, iViews said.

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.

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