Week in review: RP drug, MIGS device, sensor contacts

Week in review: RP drug, MIGS device, sensor contacts


By Kanaga Rajan and Keng Jin Lee

Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Glaucoma, Retina/Vitreous

A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

A novel treatment for retinitis pigmentosa has been granted orphan drug status by the FDA, according to CiRC Biosciences. The company’s technology uses chemically induced photoreceptor-like cells (CiPCs), which involves direct chemical transdifferentiation of fibroblasts into other cell types using a cocktail of small molecules. A recent in vivo study published in Nature found that CiPCs lead to partial restoration of the pupil reflex and visual function. The same technology is also being investigated as a potential treatment for dry AMD. Paragon Biosciences, Nature

Teva has launched the first generic version of brinzolamide in the United States. Indicated for lowering IOP in patients with ocular hypertension and open-angle glaucoma, brinzolamide ophthalmic suspension 1% is sold under the brand name Azopt (Alcon). The drug has a U.S. market size of approximately $184 million. Biospace

The OMNI surgical system is now the first comprehensive MIGS device cleared for use in adults with primary open-angle glaucoma, thanks to a newly approved expanded label. In addition to its previous indications, the FDA has ok’d the platform for canaloplasty followed by trabeculotomy to reduce IOP. Sight Science touts the platform’s unique ability to address all 3 points of resistance—trabecular meshwork, Schlemm’s canal and collector channels—via an implant-free and canal-based procedure. Sight Sciences

Novel contact lens technology may improve management of ocular diseases, according to a team from Purdue University. Using an electrochemical anchoring mechanism, they printed ultrathin, stretchable corneal sensors onto commercial soft contact lenses. The sensors, in turn, record electrophysiological retinal activity without requiring application of topical anesthesia. “This technology will be greatly beneficial to the painless diagnosis or early detection of many ocular diseases including glaucoma,” said lead investigator Chi Hwan Lee, PhD. Purdue University, Nature Communications

Researchers unveil their retinal implant in a new study published in Communications Materials. The wide-field, high-density and high-resolution photovoltaic epiretinal prosthesis contains 10,498 electrodes that each generate a dot of light. Using virtual reality, the scientists demonstrated that the implant could allow patients with retinitis pigmentosa to achieve mid-peripheral artificial vision. Next, the team plans to test the implant in clinical trials. The Engineer, Communications Materials