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VEW 2022: Cutting-edge therapeutic developments are improving patients' quality of life


Jessica Steen, OD, FAAO, shares highlights from her VEW 2022 presentation, "Ophthalmic therapeutics update."

Jessica Steen, OD, FAAO, assistant professor at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry where she serves as director of the glaucoma services, sat down with Optometry Times® editor Kassi Jackson to share hightlights from her presentation, "Ophthalmic therapeutics update," which she presented during this year's Vision Expo West in Las Vegas.

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity:


I'm joined today by Dr. Jessica Steen, assistant professor at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry, where she serves as director of the glaucoma services. She's here to share highlights from her discussion titled, "Ophthalmic therapeutics update," which she's presenting during this year's Vision Expo West in Las Vegas. Thank you for being here. Dr. Steen.


Thanks, Kassi.

In a presentation at Vision Expo West in Las Vegas, I had the opportunity to provide an update—and really most importantly—to provide some clinical context to some of the many newly approved up ophthalmic therapeutic agents.

One of our greatest challenges is really staying on this leading edge of newly available therapeutic options when we're talking about managing ocular disease. Understanding treatment options is so central to really optimizing treatment, but also we have to think about being able to counsel patients who may be undergoing therapeutic interventional treatment with one of our surgical colleagues.

We talk about some of the general trends and development of therapeutics in eyecare, really focusing on first in class agents, repurposed agents, biologics and biosimilars, and also the landscape that these agents are investigated within.

When we're talking about anterior segment disease, we really focus on new routes of administration, new indications for agents that may have previously been used off label or for another ocular condition, and topical agents that may have cosmetic as well as functional benefits.

In the space of glaucoma, we talk about therapeutics that utilize non traditional mechanisms to lower intraocular pressure, and procedure-based therapeutic treatments. And most importantly, hear where each therapy or treatment really may fit into the management of a patient with glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

Within retinal vascular disease, we're at a time where we our surgical colleagues and our patients are so fortunate to have highly efficacious medications that overall have excellent safety profiles, which has shift the focus to expanding developments to agents that have a longer duration of action, and those that utilize additional or alternative targets for really a more well rounded treatment.

And right now we're really at quite an interesting time where we are just starting to enter this space of ophthalmic biosimilar agents. We discussed the recently approved biosimilar anti-VEGF agents and the potential impact that these agents, as well as biosimilars in general, may have to our surgical colleagues, our patients, and certainly to our treatment, as well.

And looking ahead, we are most excited about the positive results of clinical trials evaluating treatment options within this space of geographic atrophy. And this really has us looking forward to a potential new approved agents in the near future, which is certainly going to change the way we manage patients with late stage dry AMD.

So bottom line, we are at a time where therapeutic developments and the approval and availability of new agents is really changing the way that ocular disease is managed and these new agents continue to utilize new targets for treatment, utilize alternative routes for medication administration, and act to, in general, increase the amount of time between treatments, all of which act together to ultimately improve patient quality of life.

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