Review of Ophthalmology's Retina Online

Volume 18, Number 4

April 2022


Aflibercept for Retinal Nonperfusion in PDR

Investigators in Regeneron’s RECOVERY study note that retinal nonperfusion (RNP) is an important biomarker for diabetic retinopathy. Data suggests that consistent anti-VEGF pharmacotherapy can slow RNP development, the researchers add. RECOVERY evaluated the impact of aflibercept (Eylea, Regeneron) on RNP among eyes with proliferative DR.

This prospective randomized clinical trial with treatment crossover in the second year looked at eyes with PDR and RNP.

At baseline, subjects were randomized 1:1 to monthly (arm 1) or quarterly (arm 2) intravitreal 2-mg aflibercept. At the beginning of year two, the treatment arms were crossed over so monthly dosed subjects subsequently received quarterly dosing while quarterly dosed subjects subsequently received monthly dosing.

Main outcome measures included change in total RNP area through year two. Secondary outcomes included DR severity scale (DRSS) scores, best-corrected visual acuity, central subfield thickness, additional measures of RNP including ischemic index (ISI) and adverse events incidence. Means and 95 percent confidence intervals were calculated.

Here are some of the findings:
• Among all subjects from baseline to year two, mean RNP increased from 235 mm2 to 402 mm2 (p<0.0001), and ISI increased from 25.8 to 50.4 percent (p<0.0001).
• Increases in mean RNP (p<0.0001) and ISI (p<0.0001) were also observed from year one to two.
• Mean total RNP increased from 264 mm2 at baseline to 386 mm2 (p<0.0001) at year two in arm 1 and from 207 mm2 at baseline to 421 mm2 (p<0.0001) at year two in arm 2 (p=0.023; arm 1 vs. 2).
• Increases in mean RNP for both treatment arms (p<0.0001) were also observed specifically within year two (p=0.32, arms 1 vs. 2).
• Compared with baseline, DRSS scores at the end of year two improved in 82 percent (n=27) of subjects and remained stable in 18 percent (n=6), with no subject experiencing worsening; at two years, DRSS scores had improved by two or more steps in 65 percent (n=11) of subjects in arm 1 and 81 percent (n=13) in arm 2.

Investigators wrote that through year two of RECOVERY, both treatment arms experienced significant increases in retinal nonperfusion. Despite expansion of RNP area in nearly all subjects, 82 percent demonstrated an improvement in DRSS levels from baseline with no subject experiencing worsening in DRSS.

SOURCE: Wykoff CC, Nittala MG, Boone CV, et al; RECOVERY Study Group. Final outcomes from the randomized RECOVERY trial of alfibercept for retinal nonperfusion in proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Ophthalmol Retina 2022; Mar 4. [Epub ahead of print].




Vitrectomy for Diabetic Complications: A Pooled Analysis

Investigators reported updated clinical outcomes in subjects undergoing pars plana vitrectomy using modern techniques and equipment for the treatment of proliferative diabetic retinopathy-related complications.

The pooled analysis included five randomized clinical trials conducted at the same institution, and study and control subjects from the trials.

A total of 943 subjects prospectively underwent small-gauge PPV with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor pretreatment for PDR-related complications and completed six-month follow up.

Here are some of the findings:
• One hundred eighty-four patients (19.5 percent) achieved 20/50 or better acuity, and 652 patients (69.1 percent) achieved 20/200 or better acuity at six months.
• The vision improved or remained stable in 901 patients (95.5 percent), and 11 patients (1.2 percent) developed no light perception at six months.
• Intraoperative complications occurred in 343 cases (36.4 percent) of cases, and 199 cases (21.1 percent) experienced a postoperative complication.
• The most common postoperative complication was vitreous hemorrhage in 124 cases (62.3 percent of all complications).
• Unplanned secondary PPV was necessary in 86 cases (9.1 percent).

Investigators wrote that clinical outcomes in patients undergoing PPV for PDR-related complications compared favorably to those reported prior to small-gauge PPV and anti-VEGF pretreatment.

SOURCE: Rush RB, Rush SW, Reinauer RM, et al. Vitrectomy for diabetic complications: A pooled analysis of randomized controlled trials utilizing modern techniques and equipment. Retina 2022; Mar 8. [Epub ahead of print].


Prevalence & Treatment of DME and Vision-threatening DR Among Medicare Part B Beneficiaries

Researchers wrote that, while diabetes prevalence among U.S. adults has increased in recent decades, few studies document trends in diabetes-related eye disease.

They examined 10-year trends (2009 to 2018) in annual prevalence of Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes with a diagnosis of diabetic macular edema or vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy (VTDR), and looked at trends in treatment.

In this cross-sectional study using Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services research identifiable files, data for patients 65 years and older were analyzed from claims. Beneficiaries were continuously enrolled in Medicare Part B fee-for-service insurance for the calendar year and had a diagnosis of diabetes on one or more inpatient claims, or two or more outpatient claims during the calendar year or one-year period.

Using diagnosis and procedure codes, annual prevalence was determined for beneficiaries with one or more claims for:

  • (1) any DME;
  • (2) either DME or VTDR; or
  • (3) anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections, laser photocoagulation or vitrectomy, stratified by any DME, VTDR with DME, or VTDR without DME.

Racial and ethnic disparities in diagnoses and treatment were presented for 2018.

In 2018, 6,960,823 beneficiaries (27.4 percent) had diabetes. Half were ages 65 to 74 years (49.7 percent), half (52.7 percent) were women and 75.7 percent were non-Hispanic White. Here are some of the findings:

  • From 2009 to 2018, an increase was found in the annual prevalence of beneficiaries with diabetes who had one or more claims for any DME (1 to 3.3 percent) and DME/VTDR (2.8 to 4.3 percent).
  • Annual prevalence of anti-VEGF increased, particularly among patients with any DME (15.7 to 35.2 percent) or VTDR with DME (20.2 to 47.6 percent).
  • Annual prevalence of laser photocoagulation decreased among those with:
    • DME (45.5 to 12.5 percent);
    • VTDR with DME (54 to 20.3 percent); or
    • VTDR without DME (22.5 to 5.8 percent).
  • Among all three groups, prevalence of vitrectomy in 2018 was less than half that in 2009.
  • Prevalence of any DME and DME/VTDR was highest among Hispanic beneficiaries (5 and 7 percent, respectively) and Black beneficiaries (4.5 and 6.2 percent, respectively), and lowest among non-Hispanic White beneficiaries (3 and 3.8 percent, respectively).
  • Among those with DME/VTDR, anti-VEGF was most prevalent among non-Hispanic White beneficiaries (30.3 percent).

Researchers reported that, from 2009 to 2018, prevalence of DME or VTDR increased among Medicare Part B FFS beneficiaries in tandem with an increase in anti-VEGF treatment, and decline in laser photocoagulation and vitrectomy.

SOURCE: Lundeen EA, Andes LJ, Rein DB, et al. Trends in prevalence and treatment of diabetic macular edema and vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy among Medicare Part B fee-for-service beneficiaries. JAMA Ophthalmol 2022; Mar 3. [Epub ahead of print].


OCT Reveals Rod Photoreceptor Degeneration in Early DR

This study evaluated the feasibility of optical coherence tomography detection of photoreceptor abnormality and verified whether the photoreceptor abnormality was predominantly in rods in early diabetic retinopathy.

Investigators acquired OCT images from normal eyes, diabetic eyes with no diabetic retinopathy (NoDR) and those with mild NPDR. Investigators determined quantitative features, including thickness measurements quantifying band distances and reflectance intensity features among the external limiting membrane (ELM), inner segment ellipsoid (ISe), interdigitation zone (IZ) and retinal pigment epithelium. Comparative OCT analysis of the central fovea, parafovea and perifovea were implemented to verify the photoreceptor abnormality was predominately in rods in early DR.

Thickness abnormalities between the ISe and IZ showed a decreasing trend among cohorts. Investigators observed reflectance abnormalities of the ELM, IZ and ISe between healthy, NoDR, and mild NPDR eyes. The normalized ISe/RPE intensity ratio revealed a significant decreasing trend in the perifovea, but no detectable difference in the central fovea.

Quantitative OCT analysis consistently revealed outer retina, i.e., photoreceptor, changes in diabetic patients with NoDR and mild NPDR. Investigators wrote that comparative analysis of the central fovea, parafovea and perifovea confirmed that the photoreceptor abnormality was predominantly in rods in early DR.

SOURCE: Le D, Son T, Lim JI, Yao X. Quantitative optical coherence tomography reveals rod photoreceptor degeneration in early diabetic retinopathy. Retina 2022; Mar 11. [Epub ahead of print].


MNV Lesion Type and Vision Outcomes in AMD: Post Hoc Analysis of HARBOR

Researchers characterized the relationships between Consensus on Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration Nomenclature (CONAN) Study Group classifications of macular neovascularization and visual responses to ranibizumab in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

This post hoc analysis of the Phase III HARBOR trial of ranibizumab in nAMD included analyses of:
• ranibizumab-treated eyes with baseline multimodal imaging data;
• baseline MNV;
• subretinal and/or intraretinal fluid at screening, baseline or week 1; and
• spectral-domain optical coherence tomography images through month 24 (n=700).
Mean best-corrected visual acuity over time and mean BCVA change at months 12 and 24 were compared between eyes with type 1, type 2/mixed type 1 and 2 (type 2/M), and any type 3 MNV at baseline.

Here are some of the findings:
• At baseline, 263 eyes (37.6 percent) had type 1, 287 eyes (41 percent) had type 2/M, and 150 eyes (21.4 percent) had any type 3 lesions.
• Type 1 eyes had the best mean BCVA at baseline (59; CI, 57.7 to 60.3 letters) and month 24 BCVA (67.7; CI, 65.8 to 69.6 letters).
• Type 2/M eyes had the worst mean BCVA (50; CI, 48.6 to 51.4 letters) and month 24 BCVA (60.8; CI, 58.7 to 62.9 letters).
• Mean BCVA gains at month 24 were most pronounced for type 2/M eyes (10.8; CI, 8.9 to 12.7 letters), and similar for type 1 (8.7; CI, 6.9 to 10.5 letters) and any type 3 eyes (8.3; CI, 6.3 to 10.3 letters).

Researchers found that differences in BCVA outcomes between CONAN lesion type subgroups supported the use of an anatomic classification system to characterize MNV and prognosticate visual responses to anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy for nAMD.

SOURCE: Freund KB, Staurenghi G, Jung JJ, et al. Macular neovascularization lesion type and vision outcomes in neovascular age-related macular degeneration: Post hoc analysis of HARBOR. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2022; Mar 3. [Epub ahead of print].


Brolucizumab for Pre-treated Patients with CNV & Signs of Tachyphylaxis to Aflibercept and Bevacizumab

Researchers wrote that treatment of choroidal neovascularization due to age-related macular degeneration is challenging since an increasing number of patients show reduced morphological response to conventional treatment with intravitreal injections. This study tested the hypothesis that the newly introduced anti-VEGF antibody brolucizumab shows promising results in pre-treated patients, as well as in cases of tachyphylaxis to aflibercept or bevacizumab.

Thirty-six eyes of 34 patients with a history of at least 10 anti-VEGF injections as well as persistent retinal fluid following the past five monthly injections with aflibercept and bevacizumab, prior to first treatment with brolucizumab, were included. Morphological and functional treatment responses were compared before and after switching to brolucizumab.

Here are some of the findings:
• Mean best-corrected visual acuity didn’t significantly change after treatment with brolucizumab.
• Central retinal thickness significantly decreased four weeks after treatment with brolucizumab from 340.36 to 282.22 µm (p<0.001), as well as pigment epithelial detachment from 346.73 to 280.47 µm (p<0.001).
• In 24 eyes (66.67 percent), complete resolution of intra- and subretinal fluid was observed after a single dose of brolucizumab.
• No serious adverse events, such as intraocular inflammation and retinal vasculitis, were reported after a single injection of brolucizumab.

Researchers reported that brolucizumab was effective not only in treatment-naïve patients, as shown in the HAWK and Harrier trials, but also in pre-treated patients. They added that the data also suggested that brolucizumab was effective in patients with signs of tachyphylaxis to other anti-VEGF agents.

SOURCE: Boltz A, Radunsky K, Weingessel B, et al. Brolucizumab for pre-treated patients with choroidal neovascularization and signs of tachyphylaxis to aflibercept and bevacizumab. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2022; Mar 29. [Epub ahead of print].


Fundus Autofluorescence and En Face OCT Measurements of GA

Investigators evaluated the correlation between fundus autofluorescence and en face spectral-domain optical coherence tomography measurements of geographic atrophy associated with age-related macular degeneration, as part of a retrospective, cross-sectional study.

A total of 270 eyes from 172 subjects with GA associated with AMD were included. Subjects with atrophic AMD with both FAF (Heidelberg HRA + Spectralis) and dense volume (128 B-scans over 6 x 6 mm) SD-OCT (Cirrus OCT) imaging were included in this retrospective analysis.

The borders of all areas of definite decreased autofluorescence (DDAF) corresponding to GA were manually outlined on FAF images by certified graders at the Doheny Image Reading Center (DIRC) using validated planimetric grading tools. In addition, GA was delineated automatically from en face OCT (at the level of the choroid) using instrument software (Cirrus v.6.2), and segmentation errors were manually corrected prior to computation of the GA area. FAF- and SD-OCT-derived measurements were correlated. Main outcome measures included correlation between SD-OCT and FAF measurements of GA area.

Here are some of the findings:
• The mean GA area measured from FAF images was 8.1 ±5.04 mm2, compared with an automated, uncorrected SD-OCT GA area of 6.82 ±3.84 mm2.
• Despite the presence of apparent OCT segmentation errors, a significant correlation was found between FAF and uncorrected SD-OCT measurements (r=0.80; p<0.001).
• Following manual correction of SD-OCT GA segmentation errors, the measured GA area increased to 7.29 ±4.18 mm2, and the correlation with the FAF-determined GA area significantly improved (r=0.98; p<0.001).

Investigators reported that SD-OCT-derived measurements of GA correlated well with areas of definite decreased autofluorescence obtained from fundus autofluorescence images. As such, they wrote that manual correction of SD-OCT segmentation errors can further improve this correlation.

SOURCE: Velaga SB, Nittala MG, Hariri A, et al. Correlation between fundus autofluorescence and en face optical coherence tomography measurements of geographic atrophy. Ophthalmol Retina 2022; Mar 22. [Epub ahead of print].


Laser & Anti-VEGF Treatment for Drusenoid PED in AMD

Researchers investigated the 24-month primary endpoint outcomes of drusenoid pigment epithelial detachment after laser and intravitreal anti-VEGF treatment following a 12-month interim safety analysis.

Twenty-one patients with treatment-naïve bilateral intermediate AMD with dPED and visual acuity ≤83 letters (Snellen 20/23) were enrolled. The subject eye received low-energy Pascal laser (532 nm) treatment, and the fellow eye was used as the control. Intravitreal injections were administered at three-month intervals from baseline to 12 months. Treatment outcomes, safety and development of advanced AMD lesions were analyzed.

Here are some of the findings:
• Mean drusen area and dPED height were significantly reduced (17.3 ±2.7 percent vs. 112.8 ±3.1 percent, p<0.001 and 11.8 ±4.7 percent vs. 119.1 ±4.6 percent, p<0.001, respectively).
• Mean BCVA improved (5.11 ±1.35 vs. 0.83 ±1.03 letters, p=0.014) in study eyes compared to those in the control eyes.
• Development of parafoveal iRORA (nGA) (67 percent, 12 of 18 eyes) and cRORA (GA) (22 percent, four of 18 eyes) was observed in study eyes.
• Three cases of iRORA and cRORA were observed in control eyes (17 percent, three of 18 eyes; p=0.010 and p=0.791, respectively).

Researchers wrote that laser and anti-VEGF treatment may be a potential treatment option for intermediate AMD with dPED. However, they added, the relatively high rate of secondary iRORA and cRORA development suggested that long-term follow-up is necessary to clarify the safety and efficacy of the treatment.

SOURCE: Kim MS, Ryoo NK, Park KH. Laser and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatment for drusenoid pigment epithelial detachment in age-related macular degeneration: 24-month outcomes. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2022; Mar 21. [Epub ahead of print].



Plasma Omega-3 Fatty Acids & Early AMD

Researchers examined the association between omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and age-related macular degeneration in the Multi-ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) cohort.

MESA was a multicenter, prospective cohort study studying risk factors for cardiovascular disease in four ethnic groups. A total of 6,814 participants of White, African-American, Hispanic/Latino and Chinese descent, ages 45 to 84 years, were recruited. Those found to have cardiovascular disease were excluded.

The study population included all MESA participants with baseline PUFA measurements and retinal photography at exam five (n=3,772). Fundus photographs were assessed for AMD using a standard grading protocol. Relative risk regression (log-link) determined associations between PUFA levels and AMD.

Researchers found a significant association between increasing DHA levels and increasing DHA + EPA levels with reduced risk for early AMD (n=214 participants with early AMD; n=99 [46.3 percent] were non-White). EPA levels alone weren’t significantly associated with AMD.

Researchers found that increasing levels of DHA were associated with reduced risk for early AMD in a multi-ethnic cohort. They wrote that the study represented the first racially diverse study demonstrating an association between omega-3 PUFAs and AMD risk.


SOURCE: Karger AB, Guan W, Nomura SO, et al. Association of plasma ω-3 fatty acids with early age-related macular degeneration in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Retina 2022; Mar 9. [Epub ahead of print].


Association of Choroidal Thickness with RRD Repair

Investigators compared the choroidal thickness before and after pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment repair, as part of a retrospective case series of RRD patients presenting between January 2015 and September 2020.

Subfoveal choroidal thickness (SFCT) and anatomical success were measured in post-PPV and fellow eyes at presentation, and at three and six months after PPV for RRD repair.

A total of 93 patients (59 percent male) with a mean age of 61.8 ±15.2 years were included. Here are some of the findings:
• Eighty-one patients were anatomically successful (group 1) while 12 re-detached (group 2).
• Mean SFCT of post-PPV eyes at presentation was 258.3 ±82 μm compared with 257.5 ±83.7 µm in fellow eyes (p=0.96).
• Group 2 presented with thicker SFCT than group 1 at baseline (309.2 ±56.2 vs. 250.7 ±82.8 μm; p=0.01).
• Both groups demonstrated a thinning trend throughout follow-up.
• At the six-month follow-up, the mean SFCT was 225.6 ±75.5 μm (p=0.05).
• Fellow eye SFCT was stable throughout follow-up (257 ±83.7 at baseline vs. 255 ±80.2 μm at six months).

Investigators reported that eyes with rhegmatogenous retinal detachments demonstrated thinning in the subfoveal choroidal thickness after vitrectomy surgery. Given that eyes with recurrent retinal detachment presented with thicker choroids at baseline, researchers suggest that thicker SFCT at presentation may play a role in retinal re-detachment.

SOURCE: Trivizki O, Eremenko R, Au A, et al. The association of choroidal thickness with rhegmatogenous retinal detachment repair. Retina 2022; Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print].




B+L and Clearside Launch Xipere

Bausch + Lomb and Clearside Biomedical announced the U.S. commercial launch of Xipere (triamcinolone acetonide injectable suspension), the first and only therapy approved by the FDA for suprachoroidal use for the treatment of macular edema associated with uveitis. Read more.

SOURCE: Bausch + Lomb, Clearside Biomedical, March 2022

Apellis Reports 18-month Pegcetacoplan Findings

Apellis Pharmaceuticals announced longer-term data from the Phase III DERBY and OAKS studies. The company says the data shows that intravitreal pegcetacoplan, an investigational, targeted C3 therapy, continued to reduce geographic atrophy lesion growth and demonstrate a “favorable” safety profile at month 18 for the treatment of GA secondary to age-related macular degeneration. The data will be included in the New Drug Application that the company plans to submit to the FDA in the second quarter of 2022, Apellis says. Read more.

SOURCE: Apellis Pharmaceuticals, March 2022


Preliminary Analysis of LumiThera LIGHTSITE III Study

LumiThera announced findings from its LIGHTSITE III multicenter clinical trial in non-neovascular age-related macular degeneration subjects treated with the Valeda Light Delivery System. Statistically significant improvement was reported in BCVA at 13 months in the photobiomodulation (PBM)-treatment vs. sham-treatment group (p<0.003). A sustained mean increase in ETDRS letter score of 5.5 letters from baseline was seen at 13 months in PBM-treated subjects’ BCVA (p<0.0001). Read more.

SOURCE: LumiThera, March 2022


Genentech Study Looks at Underrepresented Patient Populations

Genentech launched the Elevatum trial of Vabysmo in specific patient populations with diabetic macular edema. The company says that Black, Hispanic, Latin-American and Indigenous people are disproportionately affected by diabetes, and are at higher risk of developing diabetic macular edema yet are underrepresented in clinical trials, so Genentech designed this Phase IV, multicenter, open-label, single-arm trial to study Vabysmo in these populations. Read more.

SOURCE: Genentech, April 2022


Outlook Submits BLA to FDA for ONS-5010
Outlook Therapeutics submitted its Biologics License Application to the FDA for investigational therapy ONS-5010 which, if approved, will be branded as Lytenava (bevacizumab-vikg), for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration. Read more.  

SOURCE: Outlook Therapeutics, March 2022



Lineage’s OpRegen Phase I/IIa Results to Be Reported at ARVO Meeting

Lineage Cell Therapeutics announced that full results from a Phase I/IIa clinical study of RG6501 (OpRegen), a retinal pigment epithelium cell transplant therapy in development for the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration, will be presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology annual meeting to be held May 1 to 4, at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.  Read more.

SOURCE: Lineage Cell Therapeutics, March 2022


Curative Biotechnology & NEI to Study Ocular Metformin in AMD

Curative Biotechnology announced a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the National Eye Institute in which the entities will initiate clinical studies to evaluate Curative's proprietary ocular metformin formulation for treatment of intermediate and late-stage age-related macular degeneration disease. Read more.

SOURCE: Curative Biotechnology, March 2022


Akari to Present on AMD and OSD Programs at ARVO Annual Meeting

Akari Therapeutics announced Virginia Calder, professor of ocular inflammation, The Institute of Ophthalmology, UCL and Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, will give an oral and poster presentation at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology annual meeting, scheduled for May 1 to 4 in Denver, on Akari’s programs using long-acting PAS-nomacopan in age-related macular degeneration and geographic atrophy, and topical nomacopan for ocular surface diseases. Read more.


SOURCE: Akari Therapeutics, March 2022

Ribomic Provides Update on RBM-007 Program in Wet AMD

Ribomic announced results from TEMPURA along with updated data from its TOFU and RAMEN studies with RBM-007, an investigational anti-fibroblast growth factor-2 aptamer, in wet age-related macular degeneration. The company says that the data demonstrated a positive trend in two clinically relevant endpoints, best-corrected visual acuity and central subfield thickness. Read more.


SOURCE: Ribomic, March 2022

Ocuphire Completes Enrollment in ZETA-1

Ocuphire Pharma completed enrollment of 103 diabetic patients with moderately severe to severe, non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy or mild proliferative diabetic retinopathy in ZETA-1, a Phase IIb trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of APX3330 for the treatment of the disease. Read more.

SOURCE: Ocuphire, March 2022

Quest Adds DR Screening in Collaboration with IRIS

Quest Diagnostics announced a collaboration with IRIS (Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems) to deliver diabetic retinal imaging services through designated Quest patient service centers across the United States. Read more.

SOURCE: Quest Diagnostics, April 2022

First Patient Dosed in Ocugen’s Phase I/II Gene Therapy Trial

Ocugen announced the first patient was dosed in the Phase I/II clinical trial of OCU400, a modifier gene therapy candidate for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa resulting from mutations in the nuclear receptor subfamily 2 group E member 3 (NR2E3) and Rhodopsin (RHO) genes. Read more.

SOURCE: Ocugen, April 2022

Cell Fusion Promotes Regenerative Potential of Human Retina

Fusing human retinal cells with adult stem cells could potentially help treat retinal damage and visual impairment, according to findings published in eBioMedicine. A team led by ICREA Research Professor Pia Cosma at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona tested whether cell fusion events, which take place in the human retina, could differentiate into cells that turn into neurons, demonstrating the potential for tissue regeneration. The team fused Müller glia with adult stem cells derived from human adipose tissue or bone marrow, and injected the hybrid cells into a growing retinal organoid resembling the human retina. The researchers found the hybrid cells successfully engrafted into the tissue and differentiated into cells that closely resemble ganglion cells. Read more.

SOURCE: Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), March 2022

Foundation Fighting Blindness Offers Two New Podcasts

Foundation Fighting Blindness released two new Eye on the Cure Podcasts. Episodes 20 features Nancy Holekamp, MD, who discusses new therapies for wet and dry age-related macular degeneration, and emerging treatments for inherited retinal diseases. Episode 21 features jazz singer Katriona Taylor’s journey with Stargardt’s. Listen to the podcasts.

SOURCE: Foundation Fighting Blindness, March 2022

ARVO Presentations

The following companies announced presentations at the at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology annual meeting being held May 1 to 4 in Denver, and May 11 to 12 virtually.
• Allegro Ophthalmics announced that four scientific posters involving risuteganib, the company’s lead investigational compound in retina, will be presented. Learn more.
• ProQR Therapeutics N.V. announced several presentations. Learn more.
• Alimera notes that follow-up data on its implant Iluvien will be presented at this year's ARVO meeting:
   - Monday, May 2 11:51am - 12:08pm CDT – Chris Fuller, MD, Three Year Outcomes from the PALADIN Phase IV Study: Predictive Value of Prior Steroid Challenge and Intraocular Pressure Outcomes
• Bausch + Lomb will present 13 scientific poster presentations, including results from the second of two Phase III trials of the investigational treatment NOV03 (perfluorohexyloctane), as well as from several studies involving products from the company’s consumer health care, pharmaceutical and surgical portfolios, such as Xipere (triamcinolone acetonide injectable suspension) for suprachoroidal use. In addition, an update on Bausch + Lomb’s ongoing Antibiotic Resistance Monitoring in Ocular micRoorganisms (ARMOR) surveillance study will be presented. Learn more.
• Genentech will be presenting two-year, Phase III results on efficacy and durability of Vabysmo in diabetic macular edema, as well as results from a study which predicts the progression of diabetic retinopathy:
   -Efficacy, durability, and safety of faricimab in diabetic macular edema: 2-year results from the phase 3 YOSEMITE and RHINE trials; and
   - Personalized treatment interval (PTI) dosing dynamics over 2 years in the phase 3 YOSEMITE and RHINE trials of faricimab in diabetic macular edema






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