As noted in this week’s abstract, high myopia is a major public health problem in many parts of the world. There are several methods that have shown promise in reducing the progression of myopia, including optical interventions. Even with treatment that slows myopia progression, it is important to remain vigilant in long-term care of these patients in order to ensure that other related pathology remains in check.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
Sensimed Enters Into a Strategic Collaboration and Financing Agreement With SEED
Sensimed announced the expansion of its current collaboration with SEED, a Japanese contact lens manufacturer. The agreement enables the companies to combine efforts to work to obtain registration of the Sensimed Triggerfish. Following approval and agreement with PMDA the companies will then work to conduct key pivotal clinical activities in Japan. A CHF 10M financing was completed through a convertible loan to support the registration in Japan and to further validate unique diagnostic and predictive clinical claims for the technology. SEED contributed half of these funds with current investors matching this amount.
Sensimed AG, a Swiss company, has developed a unique non-invasive soft contact lens-based solution, the Sensimed Triggerfish, with the aim of revolutionizing glaucoma management by providing an automated recording of continuous ocular dimensional changes over 24 hours. According to the company, the contact lens itself is very well tolerated over the measurement period and uses telemetry in combination with a fully integrated sensor to measure volumetric changes of the eye. The Sensimed Triggerfish is a platform technology which obtained a “first of a kind” FDA approval in March of 2016 and which can be used to support alternative sensors focused on other clinical measurement applications.
In Japan efforts will be directed toward the large number of patients who have normal tension glaucoma (NTG) where standard IOP measurement tools are inadequate and where there is a large unmet need for an additional diagnostic indicator. The 24 hour profiles provided by the Sensimed Triggerfish device will be analyzed and modeled to fully categorize the disease state and aid personalized treatment.
This first of a kind measurement parameter, ocular dimensional change over a 24 hour period, whilst closely correlated with IOP, is a unique measure in itself. In addition to the work on NTG classification, Sensimed is also working toward validating the Sensimed Triggerfish device to actually predict the course of the disease so as to aid therapeutic choices. To achieve this overall goal Sensimed is now seeking a strategic partner in the U.S. to execute a planned prospective study focused on predicting fast vs. slow progressive glaucoma in a representative patient population. Once validated this will provide a unique and valuable benefit to the doctor to better manage glaucoma patients.
The 2017 Global Specialty Lens Symposium will be held January 26-29, 2017 at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The GSLS is a must-attend meeting, brought to you by Contact Lens Spectrum, focusing on the successful management of ocular conditions using today's specialty contact lenses. This meeting will include insightful presentations by international experts in the field, hands-on demonstrations of cutting-edge products and valuable continuing education credits.
The Vision Council announced Ashley Mills as the new CEO following the retirement of industry veteran Mike Daley, previously announced in June. Mills will officially begin her role on November 1. Daley will continue his work with The Vision Council through December 1, providing a seamless transition for the organization and membership.
Mills brings over 20 years of progressive trade association management, marketing and leadership experience to the position. Mills joined The Vision Council as the Vice President of Tradeshows & Meetings in January of this year after serving as the Director of Communications for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Prior to that, she held marketing positions with The Council on Foundations and Seenery Productions, and served as The Vision Council's Director of Marketing & Shows from 2003-2006.
The National Eye C.A.R.E. Survey Results Reinforce Potential Link Between Tech-Dependency and Growing Risk of DED
Shire plc reports that in results from a new national survey, nearly 9 in 10 eyecare professionals (ECPs) (89%) believe our modern, multi-screen lifestyle is responsible for a rise in dry eye disease, and that the condition is becoming increasingly common. While women ages 50 and older are still most likely to be affected by dry eye disease, ECPs also report that use of modern technology is changing the face of the condition, saying that they believe dry eye disease is affecting younger adults at a growing rate.
The National Eye C.A.R.E. (Current Attitudes Related to Eye Health) Survey was conducted online by Harris Poll in July 2015 on behalf of Shire, and included more than 1,000 ECPs (optometrists and ophthalmologists) and more than 1,200 adults with dry eye symptoms (U.S. adults diagnosed with dry eye disease or experiencing dry eye symptoms who have used artificial tears within the past month).
Among ECPs the survey found:
The vast majority say the use of modern technology contributes to dry eye symptoms (92%) and that dry eye disease is becoming more common because of today's multi-screen lifestyle (89%)
More than three-quarters (76%) report an increase in patients between the ages of 18-34 with dry eye symptoms compared with 10 years ago
Nearly nine in 10 (87%) say that in today's world, there is no one typical type of dry eye patient
According to adults with dry eye symptoms who participated in the survey:
Screens including computers, TVs, hand-held electronics (e.g., smartphones, tablets, e-readers), and video games receive primary blame for causing their symptoms, with more than half (53%) feeling that screen-time is responsible for their dry eyes
Fewer respondents attribute their symptoms to other factors like aging, lack of sleep, contact lens use, or environmental factors
Most (79%) say they are more aware of "feeling their eyes" after viewing a screen and that using a screen is challenging as a result of their dry eyes (59%)
And, while surveyed adults with dry eye symptoms rank sight as the sense that's most important to them, they typically waited two years between symptom onset and seeking the advice of a healthcare provider. Still, nearly three in five adults with dry eye symptoms (57%) say they wish they had spoken to an eyecare professional sooner, and about three in four ECPs (74%) wish their patients had asked about their dry eye symptoms earlier as well.
Ocular Therapeutix Appoints Hurley as Chief Commercial Officer
Ocular Therapeutix, Inc. announced the appointment of Andy Hurley to the newly created position of chief commercial officer, effective immediately. In this role, he will be responsible for leading Ocular’s commercial organization, focusing on effective execution of potential future product launches, brand development, and ongoing commercialization strategies.
Hurley has over two decades of sales, marketing, market access and commercial operations experience across the pharmaceutical industry. Most recently, he served as Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Dyax Corporation prior to its acquisition by Shire in January 2016. Prior to Dyax, Hurley held several senior positions within Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, including Vice President of Marketing and Vice President of Commercial Operations. At Sunovion, he was responsible for leading all marketing activities for its asthma franchise, including overall strategic planning, life cycle strategy, advertising campaigns, and market research. Earlier in his career, Hurley held commercial operations and sales roles at NitroMed and Forest Pharmaceuticals. He has also held various consulting roles in the biotech industry.
Another Possible Advantage – Dry Eye Symptomatology in SiHy Daily Wear SCL vs. Overnight Corneal Reshaping
The increasing popularity of overnight corneal reshaping (Ortho-K) has typically been attributed to freedom from eyewear use during waking hours and the off-label use to potentially control myopic progression. However, many practitioners have discovered that patients who often complain of contact lens induced dryness while wearing daytime use contact lenses find that corneal reshaping/Ortho-K addresses this problem.
A study was recently published that looked into the comparative dry eye symptomatology between daytime daily wear use of silicone hydrogel soft lenses and overnight corneal reshaping (C.R.)/Ortho-K.1 A prospective and comparative study was performed in which 31 myopic subjects were fit with the same SiHy contact lens and 23 underwent C.R. treatment for 3 months. Dry eye questionnaire (DEQ) was completed at the beginning of the study and then after 15 days, 1 month, and 3 months using each CL modality. The tear quality was evaluated with noninvasive tear break-up time. Tear production was measured with Schirmer test. Tear samples were collected with Schirmer strips being frozen to analyze the dinucleotide diadenosine tetraphosphate (Ap4A) concentration with High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Results found that after refitting with C.R., a reduction in discomfort and dryness symptoms at the end of the day (p < 0.05, χ2) was observed. No significant changes were observed in Ap4A concentration in any group. Bulbar redness, limbal redness, and conjunctival staining increased significantly in the SiHy group (p < 0.05, Kruskal-Wallis test). The researchers concluded that discomfort and dryness symptoms at the end of the day are lower in the C.R. group than in the SiHy CL group.
Motivation for the use of any specific contact lens technology will vary from case to case. This study suggests that corneal reshaping therapy (Ortho-K) may be considered as an option for those patients who experience dryness symptoms with the use of daytime wear SiHy soft contact lenses.
1. García-Porta N, Rico-Del-Viejo L, Martin-Gil A, Carracedo G, Pintor J, González-Méijome JM. Differences in Dry Eye Questionnaire Symptoms in Two Different Modalities of Contact Lens Wear: Silicone-Hydrogel in Daily Wear Basis and Overnight Orthokeratology. Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:1242845. Epub 2016 Aug 31.
OCULAR SURFACE UPDATE Katherine M. Mastrota, MS, OD, FAAO
Always Give Your Parents “Naches”
"Naches" is a Yiddish word meaning pride or gratification, especially at the achievements of one's children.
To give my parents “naches” and to “always look under the upper eyelid” are two very important pieces of advice I received from a delightful eye doctor many years ago. Never has this advice steered me wrong.
These pointers to success, although simple, can sometimes slip to the wayside in busy practices. We can forget to call Mom, or to look under the upper eyelid. I will leave dealing with Mom to you, however here is my eyelid tip: The few moments spent to evert and examine the upper eyelid will reward you with lots of information.
First, you get a chance to look for inflammation of the lid margin (blepharitis), have a peek at the upper punctum, check the lid margin for lid wiper epitheliopathy, and likewise look for incomplete lid closure before you evert and after you release the eyelid. You can assess the eyelids tone, looking for “floppy lids”. You can identify scarring, active low grade inflammation, acute localized areas of inflammation, exposed concretions, foreign bodies or neoplasms here in the palpebral conjunctiva. While you are there, you can see how the lacrimal gland is doing, look for orbital fat prolapse or any changes in this orbital area. Post surgery patients (e.g., trabeculectomies or any surgery with remaining sutures) also deserve this lid evaluation.
Thus, I pass along this wise advice: "Always give your parents naches, and always look under the upper eyelid."
Epidemic of Pathologic Myopia: What Can Laboratory Studies and Epidemiology Tell Us?
The researchers wanted to systematically review epidemiologic and laboratory studies on the etiology of high myopia and its links to pathologic myopia.
Regular Medline searches have been performed for the past 20 years, using "myopia" as the basic search term. The abstracts of all articles have been scrutinized for relevance, and where necessary, translations of articles in languages other than English were obtained.
Systematic review shows that there is an epidemic of myopia and high myopia in young adults in East and Southeast Asia, with similar but smaller trends in other parts of the world. This suggests an impending epidemic of pathologic myopia. High myopia in young adults in East and Southeast Asia is now predominantly associated with environmental factors, rather than genetic background. Recent clinical trials show that the onset of myopia can be reduced by increasing the time children spend outdoors, and methods to slow the progression of myopia are now available.
The researchers concluded that high myopia is now largely associated with environmental factors that have caused the epidemic of myopia in East and Southeast Asia. An important clinical question is whether the pathologic consequences of acquired high myopia are similar to those associated with classic genetic high myopia. Increased time outdoors can be used to slow the onset of myopia, whereas methods for slowing progression are now available clinically. These approaches should enable the current epidemics of myopia and high myopia to be turned around, preventing an explosion of pathologic myopia.
Morgan IG, He M, Rose KA. Epidemic of Pathologic Myopia: What Can Laboratory Studies and Epidemiology Tell Us? Retina. 2016 Sep 8. [Epub ahead of print]