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Week in review: ROP detection, AMD therapy, DME drops

American Academy of Ophthalmology News Feb 19, 2020

A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.
The FDA granted breakthrough status to iROP DL, an artificial intelligence algorithm that detects retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Spearheaded by Oregon Health & Science University and Massachusetts General Hospital, the program appears capable of diagnosing ROP from retinal images with comparable or better accuracy than trained ophthalmologists. The research is led by pediatric ophthalmologist Michael Chiang, MD, who discussed how AI will change the future of ROP care in this interview from AAO 2019. Oregon Health & Science University
Promising data emerged from a phase 2 gene therapy trial for wet AMD, according to Adverum Biotechnologies. After a single intravitreal injection, all six patients in the high-dose treatment group were rescue-injection-free at 50 weeks. The safety profile was “favorable” and there were no serious adverse events. The findings were presented at the Angiogenesis, Exudation, and Degeneration 2020 meeting in Miami by investigator David S. Boyer, MD, who said he was encouraged by the drug’s ability to sustain vision and anatomical improvements. Adverum Biotechnologies
Phase 2 results suggest a novel formulation of dexamethasone could offer relief from diabetic macular edema (DME). Oculis reported that OCS-01 met primary efficacy endpoints by improving central macular thickness and BCVA better than vehicle. There were no significant ocular adverse events, although the study group did experience increases in IOP. The topical treatment, which uses Oculis’ proprietary Soluble NanoParticle technology, may become a welcome paradigm shift in DME management, explained Pravin Dugel, MD, chairman of the company’s scientific advisory board and clinical professor of ophthalmology at Keck School of Medicine. Oculis
An ophthalmologist from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute is leading an initiative to help eradicate childhood vision loss in Suriname, a coastal nation in South America. Alana Grajewski, MD, and a team of physicians have launched an effort called Pediatric Preventable Blindness (PPB), where kids will receive vision screening when getting their vaccines. If the model proves successful, she intends to implement similar programs in Trinidad, Jamaica and Barbados. University of Miami

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