MAR 19, 2021
By Kanaga Rajan
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease, Pediatric Ophth/Strabismus, Retina/Vitreous
A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.
The first and only ophthalmic formulation of minocycline shines in a phase 2 trial for dry eye. Hovione claims their formula—made of a proprietary minocycline base stabilized in a novel vehicle—could address several mechanisms of chronic meibomian gland disease, including inflammation and matrix metalloproteinase activity. The latest data shows that 70% of 270 study participants achieved a 25-point improvement in the visual analogue scale by 2 weeks and a 35-point improvement by the end of treatment. In addition, cornea fluorescein staining significantly improved compared with vehicle by day 57. Less than 3% of patients reported blurring vision or irritation. Hovione
Researchers have grown the first tear-gland organoids in the lab. Their initial attempt resulted in stem cell-based organoids that swelled when induced to produce tears, due to the lack of ducts. But when implanted in mice, the transplanted organoids matured and developed duct-like structures with tear proteins. The team hopes their discovery will help screen for drugs and could eventually provide material for human transplants. Nature, Cell Stem Cell
A new retinal scan might help diagnose early childhood autism, thanks to a team at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. They designed a new machine-learning technology that analyzes retinal characteristics and nerve fiber-related features based on nonmydriatic fundus images. In the study, the approach detected autism 95.7% of the time in a cohort of 70 children with a mean age of 13 years; the youngest was 6. Used as a supplemental tool, the technology may provide an early diagnosis that will aid timely intervention of affected children. Reuters, EClinicalMedicine
Dry eye can take a toll on patients’ physical and mental health, according to a new study. An online survey of 1,000 adults with dry eye in the United Kingdom revealed that patients with dry eye often experience difficulties with mobility, struggle with day-to-day activities and are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression compared with adults without dry eye. Individuals with the most severe symptoms reported negative impacts on their social and emotional ability, with some even missing work. “Whilst we cannot draw causal associations through this study, the presence of dry eye disease does appear to impact on an individual’s health and vision related quality of life,” said lead investigator Parwez Hossain, MD. University of Southampton, BJO Open