Looking ahead…

A gel drop may replace the bandage contact lens.

Ocular Bandage Gel is a clear viscous hydrogel eye drop (0.75% concentration of CMHA-S hydrogel), capable of coating the ocular surface with minimal optical blur and is designed to resist degradation under conditions present in the eye.  It’s indicated to accelerate the re-epithelialization of large corneal epithelial defects in patients having photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).
EyeGate (the maker of the gel) announced positive results from their first human trials last week.

A new drug for Stargardt Disease.

Stargardt disease is rare (less than 40,000 cases in the US) and characterized by an excessive build-up of toxic vitamin A byproducts in the retina which leads to retinal cell death.  Emixustat is a new drug that is in phase 2 clinical trials.  It works by inhibiting a critical enzyme of the visual cycle pathway which reduces the availability of vitamin A derivatives. Less vitamin A derivatives means less toxic build-up which slows the progression of retinal cell death and macular atrophy.

A potential treatment for geographic atrophy.

Lampalizumab (say that fast three times) is an intravitreal injection that is currently being tested in two different phase 3 trials (SPECTRI and CHROMA).
Some background…overactivation of the complement pathway is involved in the pathogenesis of AMD.  Lampalizumab is an antibody fragment that inhibits the complement factor D, thus interfering with the activation of the complement pathway which can lead to the progression of geographic atrophy.  Lampalizumab can’t stop the progression of AMD but aims to slow it down as much as possible.

Jaclyn Garlich
Dr. Garlich graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 2010 and completed a residency in primary care and ocular disease at the St. Louis VA. In 2013, she developed an optometry clinical reference mobile app available in the iTunes store. In 2016, she founded 20/20 Glance, a weekly optometry newsletter that gives a rundown on clinically relevant optometry news in an easy to digest format.

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