Week in review: Bonus gains, vaping hazards, bee sting

Week in review: Bonus gains, vaping hazards, bee sting


By Kanaga Rajan and Keng Jin Lee

Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease, Neuro-Ophthalmology/Orbit, Retina/Vitreous

A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

Preclinical results suggest a 6-month sustained delivery anti-VEGF treatment may be safe. EyePoint Pharmaceuticals’ intravitreal treatment EYPT-1901 combines their proprietary bioerodible Durasert technology with vorolanib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that has shown promise for wet AMD. Rabbits treated with varying doses of the treatment did not experience adverse ocular or systemic toxicological effects, ocular measurements fluctuations or liver function enzymes changes, the latter of which is often observed with systemic delivery of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Encouraged by these results, the company plans to submit an investigational new drug application by the end of the year and launch a phase 1 clinical trial in early 2021. EyePoint Pharmaceuticals

One eye treated, 2 eyes with significant visual gains. That was the surprising observation that emerged from the phase 3 REVERSE trial evaluating a gene therapy for Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON). Of 37 patients who received a unilateral injection of LUMEVOQ, 78% curiously showed bilateral visual improvements after 96 weeks, with study eyes gaining an average of 15 letters while control eyes gained 13. To find out why, researchers performed experiments in macaques which revealed that the viral treatment traveled from the study eye to the anterior segment, retina and optic nerve of the untreated fellow eye. GenSight Biologics has submitted these results to the European Medicines Agency as part of a package for marketing authorization. GenSight Biologics, University of Pittsburgh, Science Translational Medicine

Vaping may be hazardous to your eye … but for reasons other than what you’re expecting. The latest issue of Ophthalmology details a case of a 71-year-old man who presented with left eye pain and light perception vision 6 days after tripping and hitting his face on a table. Upon questioning, he recalled losing—and not finding—the mouthpiece of his vape pen. Computed tomography scans revealed an orbital floor fracture and orbital foreign body juxtaposed to the globe, while B-scan ultrasonography showed a large suprachoroidal hemorrhage. Surgeons extracted the tip via the entry wound using malleable retractors and Adson forceps. Ophthalmology

Three million dollars in prize money: That is the impressive award to be shared by 13 winners of this year’s Sanford and Sue Greenberg Prize to End Blindness. The recipients include physicians and researchers with projects ranging from expanding affordable eye care access to developing a stem cell-based treatment for retinitis pigmentosa. “Before this century is out, there will no longer be blindness,” Sanford Greenberg—who lost his vision to glaucoma in 1961—told the National Geographic. “That’s what excites everybody in this process.” National Geographic, The Greenberg Prize

Buzz, buzz, bu … ouch, not in the eye! One hour after being stung in the eye by a bee, a 22-year-old man presented to the emergency room with redness, pain and hand motion vision in his injured eye. Ocular examination uncovered corneal haziness due to corneal edema thanks to the stinger that was still lodged in his eye. Physicians treated the patient with moxifloxacin, removed the stinger and prescribed a 2-week course of topical glucocorticoids, antibiotics and cycloplegic medications. By 3 months, his corneal edema had resolved and visual acuity improved to 20/40. New England Journal of Medicine