Ophthalmology Overview: Gene Therapy Partially Restores Vision in Blind Patient, Presbyopia Therapy, and More

Highlighting the latest ophthalmology-related news reported across MJH Life Sciences™.

Highlighting the latest ophthalmology-related news reported across MJH Life Sciences™.


Blind Patient With Retinitis Pigmentosa Achieves Partial Vision via Gene Therapy

According to clinical trial findings published last week, optogenetic methods were shown for the first time to partially restore vision in a blind human patient.

As reported by Modern RetinaTM, researchers delivered the optogenetic treatment in a patient with retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited photoreceptor disease, through the channelrhodopsin called ChrimsonR. Working to genetically alter cells so they can produce channelrhodopsins or light-sensitive proteins, the research team chose to base the analysis on the ChrimsonR protein that senses amber light, which was noted to be safer for retinal cells than blue light used for other optogenetic research.

After developing specialized goggles that utilize a camera to capture and project visual images onto the retina at amber light wavelengths, the patient was found to locate, touch, and count objects on a white table placed in front of him.

Although the patient was not able to perform the exercises without the aid of specialized goggles, researchers found in their last evaluation of electroencephalography readings that brain activity was indeed related to a visual object, indicating that the retina was no longer blind after treatment.

VISION-1 Phase 3 Study of Presbyopia Therapeutic Garners Positive Topline Results

According to Ophthalmology Times®, Eyenovia announced this week that the VISION-1 clinical study examining the safety and efficacy of its pilocarpine formulation, MicroLine, met its primary end point in providing temporary improvement of near vision in adults with presbyopia.

Administered via dispenser, participants were randomized to receiver either a therapeutic dose of MicroLine or placebo, with those undergoing MicroLine showing a 3-line or more improvement in distance corrected near visual acuity (DCNVA) vs the other group in low light conditions at 2 hours post treatment.

Eyenovia noted that the VISION-1 results will be presented at an upcoming ophthalmic-focused medical meeting, and the trial will be followed by a second phase 3 registration study called VISION-2. Both studies are required by the FDA for approval, with findings serving as the basis for a planned New Drug Application submission to the FDA.

Identifying Diabetic Candidates for Cornea Transplant Donations

With diabetic donors comprising 30% to 35% of the cornea donor pool, an article by Ophthalmology Times® highlights that not all corneal tissue from diabetics may be suitable for corneal transplant surgery, known as ketoplasty.

As a way to delineate which patients with diabetes can successfully donate their corneas for ketoplasty and which should not, researchers from Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, and the Jaeb Center for Health Research plan to examine transplant success and the loss of endothelial cells after Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty, the most common procedure that high-volume corneal-transplant surgeons are performing.

Backed by a 5-year, $6.4 million grant from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, the research team will also determine the impact of donor and recipient diabetes on study outcomes. The researchers say that the study will involve 16 eye banks and 30 clinical sites nationwide.