Week in review: KDB Glide, geographic atrophy, opsin therapy

Week in review: KDB Glide, geographic atrophy, opsin therapy


By Keng Jin Lee

Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Glaucoma, Pediatric Ophth/Strabismus, Retina/Vitreous

A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

The KDB Glide is now registered as an FDA class 1 device, according to an announcement by New World Medical. The new blade offers improvements from the original Kahook Dual Blade, with a rounded heel, tapered sides and a smaller footplate to deliver an optimal interface with Schlemm’s canal. The company expects that the KDB Glide will be available soon in the United States. PR Newswire

Apellis provided encouraging 18-month data from their phase 1b study evaluating pegcetacoplan for geographic atrophy (GA). Monthly intravitreal injections of the conjugated peptide led to a 52% decrease in mean lesion growth in 7 patients with bilateral GA when compared with untreated fellow eyes. There were no reported cases of inflammation; 1 patient developed new-onset exudation at 12 months. Top-line phase 3 data is expected in the third quarter of 2021. Apellis Pharmaceuticals

Scientists have developed a light-sensing protein called the MCO1 opsin that restores vision in blind mice. Their novel approach bypasses photoreceptors altogether, and instead utilizes gene therapy to attach the highly photosensitive MCO1 protein to retina bipolar cells. The team claims that the therapy would only require a single injection and has the potential to treat a wide range of degenerative retinal diseases since photoreceptor survival not required. Nanoscope developed the protein with help from an NEI small business grant and is planning to launch a U.S. clinical trial later this year. NEI, Nature Gene Therapy

Surgeons from Japan have performed the world’s first transplant of photoreceptor cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells. There were no complications, a Japanese research team said. The patient, who had pigmentary retinal degeneration, received sheets of photoceptor cells that were grown from the blood cells of a healthy donor. She will be monitored for a year for any visual improvements or signs of rejection. Kyodo News

Pfizer is planning to stop production of phospholine iodide (echothiophate iodide), an eye drop used to treat glaucoma and accommodative esotropia. Their decision was not based on safety, they informed the Academy, but on an unstable supply chain that has created shortages in recent years. There is no generic equivalent available and current supplies of phospholine iodide are expected to last until May 1, 2021. Pfizer