What happened in optometry this week: January 1-January 5


Catch up on what happened in optometry during the week of January 1-January 5.

Catch up with what Optometry Times shared this week:

Stress can lead to negative effects in the eyes

By Carrie Roitstein, OD

Carrie Roitstein, OD, explores the intricate connection between chronic stress and eye health, shedding light on the physiological changes triggered by stress hormones that impact the eyes.

Clinical signs of stress-related eye issues include eyelid twitching, retinopathy, ocular surface disease, vision loss, pupil dilation, and more. The piece emphasizes the role of optometrists in recognizing and addressing stress-related eye problems through personalized medicine, lifestyle changes, and preventive measures, including sleep management, nutrition, and stress reduction techniques.

Practitioners are encouraged to explore the root causes of inflammation and provide holistic care for patients with stress-induced ocular manifestations.

Read now...

Ocuphire Pharma receives special protocol assessment approval from FDA for LYNX-2 phase 3 clinical trial

By David Hutton, Managing Editor, Ophthalmology Times

Ocuphire Pharma has received FDA agreement under a Special Protocol Assessment for the clinical trial protocol and statistical analysis of the LYNX-2 Phase 3 trial, evaluating phentolamine ophthalmic solution for treating decreased visual acuity under dim light conditions. The CEO, George Magrath, MD, MBA, MS, expressed optimism about the regulatory path for patients with poor night vision after keratorefractive surgery.

The LYNX-2 trial is set to begin patient enrollment in Q1 2024. Marguerite McDonald, MD, FACS, highlighted the lack of FDA-approved pharmacologic therapies for night vision disturbances and praised Ocuphire's commitment to developing a treatment using phentolamine ophthalmic solution.


Focusing on GA: Imaging techniques and emerging therapies

By Steven Ferrucci, OD, FAAO; Carolyn Majcher, OD, FAAO

Steven Ferrucci, OD, FAAO, and Carolyn Majcher, OD, FAAO, presented a lecture on "Imaging Techniques and Emerging Therapies for Geographic Atrophy" at the American Academy of Optometry Academy 2023 meeting, focusing on the latest information from multimodal imaging and two FDA-approved treatments for geographic atrophy, an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD, the leading cause of blindness in high-income countries for those over 50, is expected to reach 22 million cases by 2050.

The lecture emphasized early detection and treatment for optimal visual outcomes. The speakers discussed various imaging modalities, with optical coherence tomography (OCT) being considered the gold standard for imaging GA, and two new complement inhibitor drugs, pegcetacoplan and avacincaptad pegol, recently approved for GA management.


The building blocks of dry eye disease

By Lynda Charters

The article explores the impact of dry eye disease (DED) on patients undergoing cataract surgery and those with other ocular conditions. Incidence rates of DED vary across ophthalmic practices, with higher prevalence in refractive patients, cataract patients, and older individuals with chronic glaucoma therapy. Comorbidities associated with DED include ocular allergies, Parkinson's disease, and Meibomian gland disease. The experts stress the importance of comprehensive assessments, anti-inflammatory therapies, and preoperative management to optimize ocular surfaces and communicate effectively with patients for successful outcomes.


First patient dosed in vezocolmitide phase 3 clinical trial for treatment of dry eye disease

By David Hutton, Managing Editor, Ophthalmology Times

Stuart Therapeutics has initiated the first patient visit for its Phase 3 clinical trial of ST-100 (vezocolmitide) in individuals diagnosed with DED. The trial is a multi-center, double-masked, placebo-controlled study aiming to assess the safety and efficacy of the ophthalmic solution. The company plans to enroll 320 volunteers and will compare a single dose level of ST-100 with a placebo.

ST-100 is the first drug candidate based on PolyCol, the company's patented synthesized polypeptide collagen mimetic peptide platform, and preliminary results suggest it could provide a fast-acting, highly differentiated treatment for DED with potential benefits in tear production, symptom relief, ocular surface damage reduction, and visual acuity improvement.


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