Determining Choroidal Vascular Density Using En Face SS-OCT
Increased Choroidal Vascularity in CSC Quantified Using SS-OCT
Repeatability of Automated Vessel Density Measurements Using OCTA
Image Artifacts in SS-OCTA
Researchers determined that image artifacts occur frequently in OCTA images and are more frequent in eyes with pathology.
SOURCE: Ghasemi Falavarjani KG, Al-Sheikh M, Akil H, et al. Image artefacts in swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography. Br J Ophthalmol 2016; July 20. [Epub ahead of print].
SS-OCT Findings in Early HCQ Retinopathy Detection & Changes After Drug Cessation
Intravitreal Aflibercept Treatment in DME: VIVID-DME and VISTA-DME Data
Relationship of Renal & Vascular Function Markers With Retinal Blood Vessel Response
Fundus Photography to Screen for Diabetic Retinopathy in Type 1 Diabetes
GA Using Color Photographs and Fundus Autofluorescence Images
Wide-field OCTA Using Extended Field Imaging to Evaluate Nonperfusion in RVO
Chromatic Multifocal Pupillometer for Perimetry & Diagnosis of RP
UWF Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy to Aid Detection & Evaluation of Asymptomatic, Early FEVR
Bascom Palmer Ranked Nation’s Top Eye Hospital, Launches Master’s Degree
U.S. News & World Report ranked Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine as the nation’s Best in Ophthalmology in its 2016-17 Best Hospitals edition. It is the fifteenth time that Bascom Palmer Eye Institute-Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital was named in the top spot since the publication began surveying U.S. physicians for its annual rankings 27 years ago. Read more. The institute also launched the world’s first master’s degree in Vision Science and Investigative Ophthalmology (MVSIO). The pioneer program offers comprehensive training in ophthalmic translational research, problem-based learning, management and more. Led by Bascom Palmer faculty members, the goal of the degree is to educate the next generation of global leaders in ophthalmology, including clinicians and vision researchers. Read more.
Source: Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, August 2016; University of Miami Health System, July 2016
Apellis Appoints Dr. Robert Kim as CMO
Apellis Pharmaceuticals appointed Dr. Robert Kim as chief medical officer to help the company optimize its drug development strategy as its clinical programs progress toward late-stage clinical testing. Dr. Kim has more than 30 years of clinical experience in ophthalmology. Early in his career, he worked at Zeiss Humphrey Systems (now Carl Zeiss Meditec) on the Stratus OCT and transitioned to drug development at Genentech, where he managed the Lucentis Phase III clinical program to its first approval in wet age-related macular degeneration. He also served as VP of clinical ophthalmology at GSK, where he helped build an early-stage clinical pipeline. At Novartis/Alcon, he was VP and head of pharmaceutical product development, and most recently at Vision Medicines, he served as CMO and head of R&D. He is currently associate clinical professor of ophthalmology at UCSF. Read more.
Source: Apellis Pharmaceuticals, August 2016
Promising Drugs May Slow or Prevent MD
In a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers pinpointed how immune abnormalities beneath the retina result in macular degeneration and how drugs used to treat depression neutralized an enzyme that restored the health of retinal pigment epithelium cells in mice. Investigators at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health focused on two protective mechanisms compromised during the onset of macular degeneration, according to a University of Wisconsin-Madison press release. One mechanism was the CD59 protein, which regulates activity when attached to the outside of RPE cells; the other was lysosomes, which plug pores created by the complement attack. If the attack was not stopped, the opening in the RPE cell membrane allowed entry of calcium ions that triggered low-grade inflammation inhibiting protective mechanisms and creating a cycle of destruction, the release said. Researchers used RPE cells isolated from pig eyes and mice that lack a protein and lead to Stargardt disease. They identified an enzyme activated by excess RPE cholesterol that neutralizes the protective mechanisms, and found that drugs used to treat depression neutralized that enzyme and restored the health of RPE cells in mice. Read more.
Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison, July 2016
pSivida's Medidur Maintains Primary Endpoint in Phase III Trial
pSivida Corp. announced that its first Phase III trial of Medidur for the treatment of posterior uveitis continued to meet its primary endpoint (prevention of recurrence of disease), with high statistical significance through 12-month follow-up (p less than 0.00000001; intent to treat analysis). Posterior uveitis was much less likely to recur in eyes treated with a Medidur injection than those receiving a sham injection through 12 months (26.4 percent compared to 85.7 percent). The average increase in intraocular pressure at 12 months was just 0.6 mmHg more in Medidur-treated eyes than control eyes (1.3 mmHg vs. 0.7 mmHg). Medidur was generally well-tolerated through the last follow-up visit (minimum 12 months, maximum 30 months, average 18 months). The incremental risk of IOP elevation for Medidur-treated eyes compared to control eyes was lower through six months for over 21 mmHg (8.3 percent vs. 10.9 percent) and for over 25 mmHg (5.1 percent vs. 11.3 percent). Read more.
Source: pSivida Corp., July 2016
Clearside Provides New Top-line Data From Phase II Trial (TANZANITE)
Clearside Biomedical reported additional top-line data from its Phase II clinical trial (TANZANITE). The trial evaluated the treatment of macular edema associated with retinal vein occlusion in treatment-naïve individuals. It included an active arm of concomitant suprachoroidally administered Zuprata, Clearside’s proprietary form of triamcinolone acetonide, and intravitreally administered aflibercept (Eylea, Regeneron) compared with an Eylea-alone control arm. Seventy-eight percent (18/23) of subjects in the active arm didn’t require additional treatments compared with 30 percent (7/23) of controls (p=0.003). In April, Clearside announced that, based on preliminary results, the trial had met its primary endpoint. Additional treatments in the active arm were concentrated in five individuals—two requiring additional Eylea injections at months two and three, and three requiring one additional injection at month three. Secondary endpoints included the mean change from baseline in best-corrected visual acuity and central subfield thickness. At month one, subjects in the active arm had an average BCVA improvement of approximately 16 letters compared with approximately 11 letters for the controls. At the end of the observation period, individuals in the active arm had an average improvement of approximately 19 letters; controls maintained their improvement level of approximately 11 letters. Read more.
Source: Clearside Biomedical, July 2016
Pain Medicine Helps Preserve Vision in Retinal Degeneration Model
A pain medicine that activates a receptor vital to a healthy retina appears to help preserve vision in a model of severe retinal degeneration, scientists reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study showed that the painkiller drug (+)-pentazocine enabled the survival of cone cells in an animal model of severe, inherited retinal degeneration. By day 42, when vision should have been lost, several layers of photoreceptor cells were still clearly visible in the treated mice. Treated mice also had evidence of reduced oxidative stress. The scientists knew that (+)- pentazocine was an activator of the sigma 1 receptor, and found evidence that the treatment decreased inflammation and stress on the endoplasmic reticulum, an organelle that helps the body make, fold and transport proteins, and eliminate those that don’t function correctly, according to an article in Augusta University’s Jagwire. Read more.
Source: Augusta University, June 2016
Clinical Trial Tests Cord Tissue to Treat Dry AMD
University of Illinois at Chicago is part of a national Phase II clinical trial to evaluate the safety and tolerability of using cells derived from umbilical cord tissue to treat dry age-related macular degeneration, according to a UIC press release. As part of the experimental treatment, cells derived from umbilical cord tissue were injected under the retina in the hope that they would prevent further rod and cone cell loss, and possibly restore vision. If successful, the therapy might slow the loss of RPE and photoreceptor cells in the early stages of the disease, according to Dr. Yannek Leiderman, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the UIC College of Medicine and lead surgeon in the clinical trial. Dr. Leiderman helped develop a specialized catheter to inject the RPE cells under the retina, which he injected into one eye on each of two subjects, who will be followed for several years. A Phase III trial will be needed to determine efficacy, the researchers say. Read more.
Source: UIC, July 2016
Broccoli Compound Yields Possible Macular Degeneration Treatment
Buck Institute researchers boosted the potency of a broccoli-related compound by 10 times and identified it as a possible treatment for age-related macular degeneration. The research, published in Scientific Reports, also highlights the role of lipid metabolism in maintaining the health of the retina, reporting that palmitoleic acid also had protective effects on retinal cells in culture and in mice. The beneficial compound in broccoli, which prompted the inquiry is indole-3-carbinol, which is being studied for cancer prevention. I3C helps clear cells of environmental toxins by activating the aryl hydrocarbon receptor protein that upregulates pathways involved in chemical detoxification. AhR, which declines with age, is important for detoxifying the retina. Previous studies show that AhR-deficient mice develop a similar condition to AMD. Lead author Arvind Ramanathan, PhD, knew I3C is weak activator of AhR so he used the chemical scaffold of I3C to do a ‘virtual’ screen of a publicly available database of millions of compounds to find those related to I3C that would bind to AhR with more strength. His team came up with 2,2′-aminophenyl indole (2AI), which is reportedly 10 times more potent than I3C. Ramanathan said data from the study suggests that some of AhR activation’s protective effects likely may come from lipids. Read more.
Source: Buck Institute, July 2016
Research Explores DR Blindness Prevention
Using a virtual tissue model of diabetes, researchers reported in PLOS Computational Biology how a small protein that can damage or grow blood vessels in the eye caused vision loss and blindness in diabetics, which could lead to improved diabetic retinopathy treatment. In the research, conducted at the IU School of Optometry and Biocomplexity Institute, the virtual retina model provided evidence for why disease progression is so variable, and predicted where damage would occur next. It showed that the blockage of one vessel caused a local loss of oxygen in the retina, triggering release of VEGF that spread over a larger region, which increased the probability of blockage in the surrounding vessels. The program predicted the rate and pattern of cascading vascular damage, and researchers’ findings suggested that treatment of the retina with laser photocoagulation prevented progressive loss of small retinal blood vessels and prevented elevation of VEGF and major DR complications. A therapy would strategically place smaller burns around areas where the model predicted vascular damage would spread, reducing total damage and the probability of spread. Researchers are planning animal studies and will look to partner on clinical trials that implement the treatment in humans. Read more.
Source: Indiana University, July 2016
New Eye Technology May Detect Alzheimer’s Before Symptoms
Researchers might have overcome a roadblock in developing Alzheimer’s therapies with a new technology that looks at the back of the eye before symptom onset. Clinical trials were expected to begin in July to test the technology in humans, according to a paper in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. The research builds upon previous research by detecting changes in the retina of mice predisposed to develop Alzheimer’s. Early detection is critical so treatment can be administered before patients show neurological signs, said author Robert Vince, PhD, of the Center for Drug Design at the University of Minnesota, in a recent press release. Since no early detection techniques exist, drugs can’t be tested to determine efficacy against early disease stages. The retina is not just tied to the brain, it is part of the central nervous system, said author Swati More, PhD, at the Center for Drug Design at UMN. But unlike the brain, the retina is more accessible to study, making retinal changes easier to observe. Researchers saw changes in the retinas of mice with Alzheimer’s before the typical age at which neurological signs of Alzheimer’s are observed, Dr. More added. Read more.
Source: ARVO, July 2016
Pixium Vision Receives CE Market Approval of IRIS II
Pixium Vision was awarded CE mark for its IRIS II bionic vision system. This 150-electrode epi-retinal implant features a design intended to be explantable and upgradeable. The IRIS II system is now CE mark-approved for people with vision loss from outer retinal degeneration. IRIS II incorporates features including: a bio-inspired camera intended to mimic the functioning of the human eye by continuously capturing changes in a visual scene with its time-independent pixels, unlike an imaging sensor that takes a sequence of video frames with largely redundant information; an epi-retinal implant with 150 electrodes—almost three times the number of electrodes than the previous version; an explantable design such that the electrode array is secured on the retinal surface by a patented support system to allow for explantation, or future replacements or upgrades. Read more.
Source: Pixium Vision, July 2016
Topcon’s 3D OCT-1 Maestro Receives FDA Clearance
Topcon Medical Systems announced that the 3D OCT-1 Maestro is now available for sale in the United States. The system combines a high-resolution, color, non-mydriatic retinal camera with the latest spectral-domain ocular coherence tomography technology. A rotating touch panel and fully automated (alignment, focus and capture) operation make the device available to all sized clinical practices. PinPoint registration properly indicates the location of the OCT image within the fundus image. A 12 mm x 9 mm scan and automated segmentation provide measurement and topographical maps of the optic nerve and macula with the reference database in one scan. The device also features a compare function, automatic segmentation of RNFL, a “total retina” feature, ganglion cell layer + inner plexiform layer imaging, and ganglion cell layer + inner plexiform layer imaging + retinal nerve fiber layer imaging with an extensive reference database. Read more.
Source: Topcon Medical Systems, July 2016
Bausch + Lomb Illuminated Directional Laser Probe Now Available
Bausch + Lomb announced the availability of the Illuminated Directional Laser Probe, which combines light technology of the company’s Illuminated Laser Probe with the fiber capabilities of its Directional Laser Probe. Using patented moving tube technology, the Illuminated Directional Laser Probe adjusts from straight to a curve of 85 degrees. The directional actuation of the fiber enables surgeons to enter the eye in the straight position, reducing the risk of bumping the natural lens while providing the ability to work around the posterior pole when applying laser treatment. Surgeons can adjust from straight to the curved position using an ergonomically designed slide button, which in combination with the illumination technology allows them to perform their own scleral depression while reaching the extreme periphery. The product features a midfield illumination pattern and is compatible with most modern ophthalmic light sources, the company says. Read more.
Source: Bausch + Lomb, August 2016
Dr. Ron Kurtz & Mark Livingston Join Allegro Board
Allegro Ophthalmics announced that Ron Kurtz, MD, president and CEO of Calhoun Vision, and Mark Livingston, president and CEO of PrimaPharma, were elected to Allegro's board of directors. Dr. Kurtz is developer of a proprietary intraocular lens that can be enhanced postoperatively to reduce spectacle dependence. He was previously co-founder, president and CEO of LenSx Lasers, which was acquired by Alcon in 2010, and of IntraLase Corp., which was acquired by Advanced Medical Optics in 2008. A retina specialist, Dr. Kurtz served on the faculty at the University of Michigan and the University of California, Irvine. Livingston has been at the helm of several organizations over the last 25 years, including president and CEO of PrimaPharma, a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization instrumental in providing solutions to Allegro's clinical trial and manufacturing needs. Read more.
Source: Allegro Ophthalmics, August 2016
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