News, May 2009

May 1, 2009

A news round-up, including highlights from this year's ASCRS.

Please click on any of the headlines below to see the full story.

Looking towards the shape of things to come
A recent survey looked at how doctors adopt and use new technology, including the internet and found that overall an increasing amount of their time is being spent online and access to the most up-to-date online medical and pharmaceutical resources plays and increasingly important role.

New glaucoma treatment could overcome non-compliance
An angiostatic cortisene, Anercortave Acetate (AA), may prove to be the first treatment modality for open-angle glaucoma, which only needs to be administered every three months.

Joint venture to benefit presbyopia patients
Technolas Perfect Vision is the new company name for the joint venture between Bausch & Lomb and 20/10 Perfect Vision AG that will focus on laser vision correction.

Drug trial results look good for dry AMD treatment
Positive interim data results from the Phase II trial of OT-551 to treat geographic atrophy (GA), an advanced form of AMD, have been announced by Othera Pharmaceuticals Inc.

News in brief from the ASCRS in San Fransisco

Ophthalmologists, ODs can work together, but encroachment on surgery is "infuriating," said David W. Parke II, MD, the new executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). They should work together as colleagues in service to patients but with appropriately defined responsibilities.

New 3D flat-panel displays will enable surgeons to display live & recorded content of the surgical view from a microscope or slit lamp.

Wavefront-optimized excimer laser ablation does not appear to induce night vision disturbances — in fact, patients were more likely to report fewer night vision disturbances after the procedure than they did preoperatively.

Femtosecond laser-assisted penetrating keratoplasty (PKP) has potential advantages over conventional PKP performed with manual corneal trephination.

An interim analysis of data from an ongoing US clinical trial shows corneal collagen crosslinking using riboflavin and ultraviolet A (UVA) light has promising efficacy and safety for the treatment of progressive keratoconus and postLASIK ectasia.

In a recent survey of American ophthalmologists, virtually all (97%) believe preservative-free glaucoma medications can enhance the ocular comfort of glaucoma patients, while 86% believe that preservative-free medications can enhance patient quality of life.

More news in brief …

Current methods used to evacuate the capsule of lens epithelial cells and other lens material are not sufficient to prevent late complications of Soemmerring's Ring formation, posterior capsule opacification (PCO), and unwanted fibrosis after paediatric cataract surgery. These were the conclusions of a recent study conducted at the University of Utah using 500 cadaver eyes. The specimens were post-extracapsular cataract extraction and IOL insertion and were examined and photographed using the Miyake-Apple technique.

Results of the most recent ASCRS/ESCRS survey on foldable IOLs requiring explanation or secondary intervention indicate a shift in the leading causes for these procedures. "We are now seeing an increasing number of multifocal IOLs being explanted. The importance of optical aberrations and glare as a reason for multifocal IOL explantation speaks to the importance of proper patient selection and thorough preoperative counseling when implanting these lenses." said Nick Mamalis, MD, professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City.

Findings in a new market research report from Market Scope Reports demonstrate that while refractive surgery procedures remain relatively flat a 35% increase is expected between 2008 and 2012. Cataract procedures are also anticipated to increase by nearly 13% between 2008 and 2012 and 25% between 2008 and 2015. These trends are said to be due to an overall decline in the number of practicing ophthalmologists in the coming years combined with an increase in the ageing population.

The Triggerfish, developed by a Swiss start-up company, SENSIMED, has received its CE mark and will undergo clinical trials during 2009 in key European centres. The novel technology is designed for 24-hour IOP monitoring during which time the patient's movements are unrestricted.