Ophthalmology Month in Review: June 2024

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Our June 2024 month-in-review includes the latest pipeline news, the impact of vision issues on public health, and expert-led insight on the latest in ophthalmology.

Ophthalmology Month in Review: June 2024 | Image Credit: HCPLive

Our ophthalmology month in review for June 2024 focuses on updates to the pipeline, a look at the impact of vision problems on public health in the US, and expert-led content on the latest in eye care, including an episode of New Insight with Veeral Sheth, MD on new low-vision technology and a peer-led series reviewing the latest in the ophthalmic armamentarium for retinal diseases.

Pipeline News

RELIEF: Licaminlimab Improves Signs of Dry Eye Disease in Phase 2b Trial

Topline results from the Phase 2b trial reported the positive effect of licaminlimab, a novel anti-TNFα biologic eye drop, on multiple signs of dry eye disease (DED). Improvements in pre-specified efficacy endpoints, including fluorescein staining and the Schirmer’s test, were identified across the entire study population, with pronounced effect in the TNFR1-related genetic biomarker subcohort.

“To my knowledge, licaminlimab is the first DED medication to demonstrate in a clinical trial a predictive treatment effect in patients with a common genetic biomarker to potentially solve this problem,” said Eric Donnenfeld, MD, clinical professor of ophthalmology at New York University.

Fenofibrate Markedly Lowers Progression of Diabetic Retinopathy

Fenofibrate, a common cholesterol-lowering drug, significantly reduced the progression of vision loss in patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR). The LENS trial, presented at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) 84th Scientific Sessions, included more than 1,000 adults with early DR or maculopathy randomized to treatment with fenofibrate tablets or placebo.

“DR remains a leading cause of visual loss and we need simple strategies that can be widely used to reduce the progression of diabetic eye diseases,” said David Preiss, MBChB, PhD, an associate professor at Oxford Population Health.

Public Health

Survey Context May Influence Estimates of US Vision Problem Prevalence

A recent analysis investigated the impact of survey design on estimates of self-reported vision problems. Disability prevalence estimates in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) were higher than similar estimates in the American Community Survey (ACS) without cross-survey comparisons on the cause of these gaps.

These data point to the focus on health within the BRFSS as potentially impacting the decision of survey participation and how respondents understand their difficulties with vision.

"People with vision problems may find the BRFSS, a survey about health topics, to be particularly salient and consequently be upwardly biasing prevalence estimates," investigators wrote.

Intraocular Pressure Events Rare After Lampalizumab for Geographic Atrophy

A post hoc analysis of two RCTs reported few intraocular pressure (IOP)-related events after 1 year of 0.1 mL injections of lampalizumab for geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In particular, IOP increases remained rare, with no observed changes in mean pre-injection IOP rates in participants treated with either lampalizumab or sham at Week 48.

“This information could help inform future clinical trial design as well as support safety evaluations of more recently approved intravitreous injections that use volumes of 0.07 to 0.01 mL,” investigators wrote.

Expert-Led Content

New Insight: A Look at the OcuLenz with Michael Freeman, CEO of Ocutrx

June’s episode of New Insight with Veeral Sheth, MD featured a conversation with Michael Freeman, chief executive officer of Ocutrx. The episode centered around the history of the company, its proprietary OcuLenz and OR-Bot products, and what Freeman envisions for the company within the next decade.

The company’s OcuLenz is an Augmented Reality (AR)/Extended Reality (XR) headset for low vision to help correct central vision loss in AMD, and the OR-Bot is a technology aimed to assist surgeons in the operating room visually and reduce pain during the completion of an operation.

Transforming Retinal Disease Management with Novel Therapies

In this HCPLive® Peer Exchange, a panel of ophthalmologists and vitreoretinal specialists discuss treatments for retinal diseases, specifically neovascular AMD (nAMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). Across 14 episodes, experts discuss the evolving landscape of retinal disease treatment, focusing on the impact of first-line therapy and its impact on long-term disease progression.

They particularly highlighted two new therapies, aflibercept 8 mg and faricimab, and how the addition of biosimilars and gene therapy are changing the landscape of care for patients with retinal diseases.

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