EW Weekly, June 26, 2020

FDA approves software update for CATALYS laser
The FDA approved the cOS 6.0 software update for the CATALYS laser, a press release from Johnson & Johnson Vision announced. The update provides new features for astigmatism management workflow (direct input of preoperative keratometry and steep axis values) and reduces time spent on calculations and the need for intraoperative aberrometry for toric alignment. The company also announced a collaboration with Cassini Technologies that makes the CATALYS System compatible with the Cassini topographer, which allows for iris registration for automatic cyclorotation compensation.

UPLIZNATM receives FDA approval for neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder
The FDA approved UPLIZNATM, a B cell depleter to treat neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) in adults who are anti-aquaporin-4 (AQP4) antibody positive, according to a press release from Viela Bio. The company stated that this drug is administered twice a year after the initial doses and would be effective for the 80% of patients with this rare, neuroinflammatory autoimmune disease who are anti-AQP4 antibody positive. The clinical trial leading to the treatment’s approval saw 89% of anti-AQP4 antibody positive patients remain relapse-free for 6 months, compared to 58% in the placebo group.

NEI establishes Office of Regenerative Medicine
The National Eye Institute (NEI) established a new office within it—the Office of Regenerative Medicine. This office will focus on supporting cellular and molecular reprogramming research as a way to treat certain eye diseases, according to a press release from NEI.

Aerie gifts ASCRS Foundation with $30,000 match
This week donations to #GiveSight! with the ASCRS Foundation were doubled by a challenge set forth by Aerie Pharmaceuticals. Aerie matched the first $30,000 donated to the Foundation. A total of $70,055.37 was raised from donations and the subsequent Aerie match. Aerie has been supporting the ASCRS Foundation with similar match campaigns since the 2018 ASCRS•ASOA Annual Meeting. With this year’s meeting being virtual, Aerie continued its commitment to philanthropic eyecare endeavors with the Foundation’s virtual #GiveSight! campaign.

Research highlights
  • An accelerated, 10-minute, 9 mW/cm2 crosslinking protocol was compared to the standard, 30-minute, 3 mW/cm2 procedure in a total of 82 eyes (62 patients) with progressive keratoconus. Based on keratometry readings preoperatively and postoperatively at 6 months, the accelerated protocol was as effective as the standard protocol, according to the research by Stock et al., published in Clinical Ophthalmology.
  • A case report—the first published of its kind—described significant corneal flattening in a patient with keratoconus after bariatric surgery. The patient’s left eye already had a penetrating keratoplasty procedure for advanced keratoconus prior to the bariatric surgery, but his right eye, according to Jeremy Greenberg and Gregory McCormick, MD, had active keratoconus progression. Two years after gastric surgery, there was about 5 D of flattening of the cone, the authors reported, and the patient’s BSCVA improved alongside management of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The case is published in the journal Cornea.
  • A study that could help clinicians as they seek to establish target pressures for patients with glaucoma looked at IOP control on spectral-domain (SD) OCT retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFL). Data from the Duke Glaucoma Registry included more than 85,800 IOP measurements and more than 60,200 SD OCT tests from 14,790 eyes of 7,844 patients. Mean follow-up was 3.5±1.9 years. There was an average rate of change in RNFL thickness of –0.68±0.59 μm/year and each 1 mm Hg higher mean IOP was associated with a faster rate of RNFL loss (0.05 μm/year), Alessandro Jammal, MD, and coresearchers reported. Forty-one percent of eyes with IOP of more than 21 mm Hg at all visits had what the authors classified as fast progression, compared to 20% of eyes that had an IOP less than 18 mm Hg at all visits, which saw fast progression. The authors concluded that in this real-world, large, clinical population, IOP was significantly associated with the rate of progressive RNFL loss. This research is published in Ophthalmology.
  • With limited data on the ocular effects of COVID-19 on non-hospitalized SARS-CoV-2 positive patients, a survey was created and distributed to patients in the COVID Volunteer Research database, created by the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. The survey was completed by 458 participants (450 were included for analysis as complete) and found 47% of COVID-19 positive patients had at least one ocular symptom. The most common was eye pain (19.4%), followed by photophobia (13.9%), flashes/floaters (11.8%), blurry vision (11.1%), and red eyes (10.4%). The majority of patients (about 80%) did not have ocular symptoms prior to the onset of systemic COVID-19 symptoms, Sapna Gangaputra, MD, and Shrijj Patel, MD, reported. The authors noted that 54% of COVID-19 negative patients also reported at least one ocular symptom, and there was no significant difference in the symptoms between COVID-19 positive and negative patients. These findings, published in Ophthalmology, led the authors to conclude there was “no association between ocular symptoms and COVID-19 positivity in an outpatient population,” based on the survey.

This issue of EyeWorld Weekly was edited by Stacy Jablonski and Vanessa Caceres.

EyeWorld Weekly (ISSN 1089-0319), a digital publication of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), 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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