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Eye News Roundup – July, Week 3

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Eye News Roundup – July, Week 3

1: Regression of Neovascularization in Diabetic Retinopathy Achieved through Anti-VEGF/Panretinal Photocoagulation

A recently published PROTEUS study led by Matt R. Starr, MD and Sophie J. Bakri, MD reports progress in treatment of diabetic retinopathy – regression of neovascularization in diabetic retinopathy with the help of anti VEGF/Panretinal Photocoagulation.

The study was aimed at assessing the outcomes of PRP (Panretinal Photocoagulation) along with intravitreal ranibizumab compared to PRP as solo treatment of patients suffering from high-risk proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

77 patients were enrolled for this study, everyone suffering from either type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus through April 2014 to May 2016, and were followed for at least one year.

Primarily, the regression of neovascularization (starting from baseline to 12th month) was assessed in this study, whereas the secondary outcomes involved visual acuity changes, recurrence of neovascularization, the time it took in regression, changes in retinal thickness as well as the need for vitrectomy and complications.

Patients were segregated into two groups. First group was assigned randomly with PRP plus ranibizumab (study cohort) treatment, whereas the second group was assigned only with PRP (control cohort) treatment.

The baseline assessment at months 3, 7 and 12 revealed the number of patients with neovascularization regression and smaller areas of neovascularization was significantly higher in the combination cohort, also marked with significantly faster time in achieving this regression.

Similarly, the patients receiving combination therapy were observed to have significantly thinner retinas at 3rd and 7th month, needing significantly fewer treatments to deal with diabetic macular edema.

To conclude, this study has brought the role of anti-VEGF agents alongside PRP to the forefront in reducing larger areas of neovascularization. In fact, this can also prove helpful in combating visually threatening complications including tractional retinal detachments and vitreous hemorrhage, a common occurrence in people with high-risk proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

Further details on this study can be accessed at Medscape.

2: Significant Progress in Development of Eye Drops for Treatment of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

The University of Birmingham scientists claim to advance significantly in development of eye drops capable of treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which can totally revolutionize the whole scenario, as AMD is one of the leading causes of eye problems in the US, expected to affect 3 million US citizens by 2020.

The current treatments of AMD involve injections into the eye, only to be administered by trained medical professionals. However, a team led by Dr Felicity de Cogan, senior researcher at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Microbiology and Infection, is on the way to develop a method of delivering desired drugs in the form of eye drops rather than injections to the eyes of AMD patients.

According to the details published in “Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS)” last year, the therapeutic effects of these drops are similar to those achieved by injecting drugs in the eyes of rats.

And the research has taken a leap further now, assessing the effects of these drops in pig and rabbit eyes, bearing more similarity to human eyes, also reported in the same journal, IOVS.  The researchers reveal that they have relied on a cell-penetrating peptide to deliver the drug to the retina.

Currently, the research is being carried out in collaboration with “Macregen”, a US based company and collectively they are striving to develop a range of therapies for treatment of AMD and other eye diseases.

The success of such a venture will open up unimaginable possibilities of ease, convenience and efficacy in treating AMD and other eye diseases, turning the drug administration for these diseases into an everyday chore rather than a professional’s specialized job.

Find out more about this revolutionary research at ScienceDaily.

3: Eye Surgery Got Simplified – Thanks to Fluorescent OVD

Handling eye surgeries got significantly easier, thanks to the idea of adding a small amount of fluorescein without sacrificing the transparency, resulting in the visibility of OVD at the stage of removal.

According to a story reported in “Healio”, cataract surgery can become safer and easier due to a recently developed mildly colored but transparent OVD (ophthalmic viscosurgical device). This makes sure that all residuals of the substance are cleared at the end of the procedure.

Alain Telandro, MD shared with ‘Ocular Surgery News’ that it is imperative to remove all residuals, but achieving this feat is no easy job with conventional transparent OVD currently in use.

Fluorescein concentration used in intravenous angiography normally ranges between 10% to 25%, whereas this concentration in fluorescent OVD is a mere 0.005% – almost totally negligible comparatively. Since all the fluorescent molecules are strictly contained within OVD, none of it remains as residuals afterwards.

According to Telandro, none of the patients treated with fluorescent OVDs have reported of any significant side effects until now. Moreover, eyes treated with fluorescent OVD are observed to bear significantly lesser increase in intraocular pressure as well as lesser inflammation and edema.

More about this interesting development can be found at Healio.

4: A Promising New Treatment for Geographic Atrophy

A recent story on “Medscape” featured good news for Geographic Atrophy patients – an experimental treatment involving APL-2, a synthetic cyclic peptide, significantly slowed down geographic atrophy in AMD patients. This progress was observed in FILLY (NCT02503332), as part of the largest 2nd phase trials on geographic atrophy to date.

In fact, the researchers are so motivated by the positive results of the trial that they are planning 3rd phase trials locally as well as globally, as revealed by Nathan Steinle, MD, associated with California Retina Consultants in San Luis Obispo. This experimental treatment involved an intravitreal complement C3 inhibitor.

VEGF inhibitors (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) are already known to significantly improve wet AMD (also known as neovascular AMD), but no viable drug exists until now that can treat or even slow down late stage dry AMD or geographic atrophy, as reported by Steinle during the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) 2018 Annual Meeting.

Phase 3 trials will help in further understand the significance of APL-2, getting a step closer to development of a reliable geographic atrophy treatment.

To learn more about the whole story, visit Medscape.