EW Weekly, December 14, 2018

December 14, 2018
Volume 24 , Number 48

Olopatadine hydrochloride solution approved for allergic conjunctivitis

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Abbreviated New Drug Application for olopatadine hydrochloride ophthalmic solution USP 0.1% (Alembic Pharmaceuticals, Vadodara, India), according to a press release. It is therapeutically equivalent to the reference listed drug product (Patanol, Novartis, Basel, Switzerland). Olopatadine hydrochloride is indicated to treat signs and symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.

Alcon announces North American-focused medical affairs website

Alcon (Fort Worth, Texas) has launched AlconScience.com, geared toward North American eyecare professionals and academic institutions, according to a company press release. The new website consolidates information about Alcon's scientific, academic, and related activities into one portal.

Collaboration between Intellia Therapeutics, Novartis focuses on CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing

Intellia Therapeutics (Cambridge, Massachusetts) has announced an expansion of its existing cell therapy with Novartis to include ex vivo development of innovative cell therapies using certain ocular stem cells. Novartis will have the right to develop CRISPR/Cas9-based products for one or more targets using these stem cells. Intellia will get a one-time $10 million cash payment and is eligible to receive downstream success-based milestone and royalties. Intellia now has expanded rights to the lipid nanoparticle technology for all genome editing applications from Novartis, in both in vivo and ex vivo settings.

Study: Transdermal androgen helps relieve dry eye symptoms

In a small randomized control trial, transdermal androgen (AndroGel, Besins Healthcare, Brussels, Belgium) helped relieve dry eye signs and symptoms and improved quality of life in aging patients, according to Sumet Supalaset and coresearchers. The study included 50 patients with dry eye from a tertiary eye center in Thailand who were randomized to receive the therapy or placebo for 4 weeks. Serum levels of the hormone and quality of life questionnaires were evaluated at baseline and after treatment. The Ocular Service Disease Index decreased significantly 4 weeks later in the AndroGel group compared with placebo. There were significant improvements in tear breakup time, corneal fluorescein staining, and Schirmer test results. In the AndroGel group, 20% of patients had oily skin, and 4% had acne. The menopause rating score improved in the AndroGel group compared with placebo; however, aging male symptoms were not different in either the therapy or placebo group. No serious side effects were reported. The study is published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

Audition videos for ASCRS' The Voice of Ophthalmology Season 2 due today

ASCRS is getting ready for another year of one of the most widely acclaimed, innovative educational forums in anterior segment surgery. ASCRS' The Voice of Ophthalmology, Season 2 is set to premiere on Sunday, May 5. The audition period for Season 2 ends tonight, Friday, December 14. Don't miss your chance to take center stage as a contestant. Selected contestants will enjoy:
  • Pre-meeting publicity: Your name and topic will be featured in marketing efforts promoting ASCRS' The Voice of Ophthalmology
  • Exposure to and interactions with some of the world's paramount leaders in anterior segment surgery
  • Exceptional visibility during the session: Season 1 debuted to 1,200+ attendees
  • Post-event publicity
Audition videos can be submitted via text at 703-717-3770 or email at ASCRSVoice@ascrs.org. Full audition details are available online at voice.ascrs.org.

Research briefs

  • Three to 12 months after topography-guided LASIK, the number of eyes with an uncorrected distance visual acuity (UDVA) of 20/10 increased significantly and correlated with better postop corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), reported Daniel Durrie, MD, and coresearchers. Their study focused on factors that were predictive of excellent visual acuity after topography-guided LASIK performed with the Contoura excimer laser (Alcon) in an FDA clinical trial. Before surgery, 1% of eyes had 20/10 CDVA; postop, 7% of eyes had 20/10 or better UDVA at 3 months, which increased to 16% at 12 months. Both lower corneal astigmatism and postop refractive cylinder correlated with better postop UDVA and CDVA, respectively (P<0.01 in all cases). The topography-guided treatment may lead to significant improvement in the number of eyes with 20/10 or better visual acuity at 3-12 months, the researchers concluded. The study is published in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.
  • The combination of a small aperture corneal inlay with a monofocal IOL in a patient's nondominant eye can help to increase intermediate and near visual acuity in binocular cataract surgery, reported Matthias Elling, MD, and coresearchers. In their study, the inlay was implanted in addition to cataract surgery in the nondominant eye, and routine cataract surgery was performed in the dominant eye. Conventional cataract surgery was done in both eyes in the control group in separate consecutive surgeries that were 2 weeks apart. The target refraction was emmetropia. Among the 16 patients who had cataract surgery on both eyes, the difference in UDVA between the control group and inlay-cataract group was not statistically significant after 12 weeks (P=.59). The mean uncorrected intermediate visual acuity was significantly better in the inlay-cataract group (P=.03); near visual acuity also was better in the latter group, but it was not statistically significant (P=.07). No statistically significant difference was found between the two groups under binocular photopic and mesopic conditions with and without glare. The study appears in the Journal of Refractive Surgery.
  • In a cross-sectional, case-control study, patients with uveitis appeared to have more psychological stress compared with controls, but no significant difference was identified among the stress of patients with active versus controlled uveitis, reported Elyse Berlinberg, BS, and coresearchers. The researchers used a self-administered Cohen 10-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), salivary samples, and a medical records review with 120 patients (80 uveitis; 40 controls). Nearly 67% of participants were women, and the median age was 40 years. Having uveitis was associated with a 4.3-point increase in the PSS-10 score. Factors that were associated with an increased PSS-10 score were female sex, current immunomodulatory therapy, history of depression, and having posterior or panuveitis. Among the 58.3% of participants who had testable samples for cortisol analysis, diurnal salivary cortisol levels were not significantly different between uveitis and non-uveitis groups. Comprehensive treatment for non-infectious uveitis may help address the psychological results of the disease, the researchers concluded. The study appears in JAMA Ophthalmology.
  • All Maestro SD OCT and Triton Swept Source OCT purchases (Topcon Medical Systems, Oakland, New Jersey) will now come with 20 GB of free storage on the new Topcon Cloud platform.

This issue of EyeWorld Weekly Update was edited by Amy Goldenberg and Vanessa Caceres.

EyeWorld Weekly Update (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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