Russian University Scientists Create Cornea Prototype, NEI Awards Strabismus Research Grant, and More...

Russian University Scientists Create Functional Prototype Cornea

Sechenov University scientists developed a functional prototype cornea after creating a new-generation collagen matrix for dental reconstruction, according to a university press release. The idea is to have the artificial cornea replace biologic cornea that sustains injuries or has keratoconus.

“Based on the groundwork for the development of collagen, we started working on the technology of forming a material for an artificial cornea,” Peter Timashev, director of the Biomedicine Science and Technology Park, and Doctor of Chemical Sciences, explained in the press release. “At the moment, we have developed a prototype of a high degree of transparency—up to 90%. It is completely biocompatible and bioresorbable.”

In the coming months, the scientists will perform pilot operations on experimental models of the artificial cornea, with laboratory rabbits being the first subjects, according to the press release.

National Eye Institute Awards Four-Year $500,000 Grant for Strabismus Research

The National Eye Institute awarded a four-year $500,000 grant to Wright State University Professor of Psychology Scott N J Watamaniuk, PhD, to see how the brain coordinates binocular vision.

The grant comes on the heels of a 2021 study, of which Dr. Watamaniuk was a part, that questions the validity of the prevailing 1868 theory that the brain delivers a single command that moves both eyes at the same time. This theory has placed the blame for strabismus on the eye muscle, leading to the treatments of patching and surgery.

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  • Amber Ophthalmics announced that Dr. Mark S. Gorovoy, from Gorovoy MD Eye Specialists, enrolled the first patient in the AMB-01-006 (NEXPEDE-1) study. This is a randomized, double-masked, vehicle-controlled phase 2/3 clinical trial to evaluate two concentrations of Nexagon (lufepirsen ophthalmic gel) for treating persistent corneal epithelial defects.
  • Bausch + Lomb completed its acquisition of Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution 5%) from Novartis. Also, the company received FDA approval for Miebo (perfluorohexyloctane ophthalmic solution), which directly targets tear evaporation in dry eye disease.
  • CorNeat Vision’s EverPatch was granted FDA 510(k) clearance. The EverPatch is a synthetic tissue substitute intended to reinforce the sclera and aid ocular surfacel reconstruction.
  • CXL Ophthalmics changed its name to Epion Therapeutics, Inc. to capture the company’s therapeutic approach of epion corneal collagen crosslinking.
  • Euclid mourned the loss of company co-founder George Glady. Mr. Glady helped conceptualize orthokeratology, according to a press release.
  • Johnson & Johnson launched the Elita femtosecond laser to correct myopia via the Smooth Incision Lenticule Keratomileusis (SILK) procedure at the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons Conference. Elita allows surgeons to perform refractive correction on myopic patients who do or do not have astigmatism.
  • Harrow changed its corporate name from “Harrow Health, Inc.” to “Harrow, Inc.” to align with its current 5-year strategic plan, which includes an exclusive focus on eye care pharmaceuticals, according to a press release. “Given the growing recognition of the Harrow name within the ophthalmic community, along with the connection of the Harrow brand to what is now one of the largest portfolios of ophthalmic pharmaceutical products in the US market, we believed it was the right time to represent our exclusive commitment to the ophthalmic market by shortening our corporate name to Harrow, Inc.,” said Mark L. Baum, chief executive officer of Harrow.
  • Kala Pharmaceuticals changed its name to Kala Bio to “better reflect the company’s focus on advancing biologics for the treatment of ophthalmic conditions,“ according to a press release.
  • Novaliq GmbH announced the FDA approval of Vevye (cyclosporine ophthalmic solution 0.1%) for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease (DED).
  • Tarsus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., announced that the FDA approved lotilaner ophthalmic solution 0.25% (Xdemvy), formerly known as TP-03, as a treatment that directly targets Demodex mites, the root cause of Demodex blepharitis. The FDA approval is based on the results from 2 randomized, multicenter, double-masked, vehicle-controlled studies (Saturn-1 and Saturn-2), designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Xdemvy in 833 patients, 415 of whom received Xdemvy. (See “Research Article Spotlight,” p. 32 for more information about how this new treatment option became available.
  • The Viatris Eye Care Division is rolling out a nationwide, multi-channel campaign for its varenicline solution nasal spray (Tyrvaya) used to treat the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease (DED), according to a press release. Titled “It’s Not Another Drop,” the campaign, which is for both consumers and eye care providers, will show authentic experiences of patients managing DED who are made aware of Tyrvaya, to help motivate them to talk with their eye care professional about the treatment. In other news, Viatris and Ocuphire Pharma announced the FDA approval of Ryzumvi (phentolamine ophthalmic solution 0.75%) for the treatment of pharmacologically induced mydriasis produced by adrenergic agonists (e.g., phenylephrine) or parasympatholytic (e.g., tropicamide) agents. Ryzumvi is expected to be commercially available in the United States in the first half of 2024. CP