This week in retina: September 24-September 30

An end-of-week review of retina news and stories from September 24-30, 2022.

Check out what Modern Retina™ shared this week:

Retina news

Zika virus linked with fundus lesions in newborns in French territories

French researchers reported that the Zika virus may be responsible for ocular anomalies found in children of mothers who had a confirmed Zika virus infection in French Guiana, Guadeloupe, and Martinique, French West Indies, according to Harold Herle, MD, PhD, lead study author from the Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Martinique, Hôpital Pierre Zobda Quitman, Fort-de-France, Martinique, French West Indies, France.

This research team conducted a cross-sectional multicenter study to report the ocular fundus manifestations in infants with congenital ZIKV exposure in French Guiana, Martinique, and Guadeloupe, French West Indies, to assess its prevalence. They sought to determine risk factors, specifically the presence of extraocular diseases present in the fetuses and the gestational term at the time of infection.

The main outcomes were the presence of vitreous, choroidal, retinal, and optic disc anomalies seen during fundus examinations using widefield retinal imaging after pupil dilation. The infection date, delivery mode, and newborn measurements were collected.

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High-resolution multimodal imaging is key in dry AMD therapeutic development, future management

Despite the great strides made in better treatments for patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD), similar progress for the dry form of the disease has remained elusive. However, several potential strategies working their way through the investigative pipeline are showing promise.

Investigators are assessing a variety of approaches to reduce disease progression. These include drugs with antioxidative properties, inhibitors of the complement cascade, neuroprotective agents, visual cycle inhibitors, gene therapy, and cell-based therapies.

Compounds that suppress inflammation by inhibiting the complement pathway have attracted significant attention, with 2 showing promising results in phase 3 trials: pegcetacoplan (formerly APL2-103; Apellis Pharmaceuticals) and avacincaptad pegol (Zimura; Iveric Bio).

Results from Allegro Ophthalmics’ phase 2a study of risuteganib, a small peptide oxidative stress stabilizer, showed that risuteganib can reverse vision loss and restore function. Stealth BioTherapeutics announced top-line data from its phase 2 trial evaluating elamipretide, saying that although it did not meet its primary end points, a key secondary end point showed the agent categorically improved visual function for patients with geographic atrophy (GA).

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Study finds ranibizumab biosimilar equivalent in safety, efficacy for the treatment of wet AMD

Indian researchers compared a biosimilar of ranibizumab (Lupin) with ranibizumab (Lucentis, Genentech) and reported the therapeutic equivalence, safety, and favorable immunogenicity profile of the biosimilar formulation in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Ramandeep Singh, MD, lead author from the Department of Ophthalmology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India, reported the findings.

Singh and colleagues conducted a prospective, double-blind, 19-center phase-III study that included 202 patients with neovascular AMD. The patients were randomized (1:1) to receive an intravitreal injection of either the biosimilar formulation of ranibizumab or Lucentis 0.5 mg once monthly for 3 months.

The primary endpoint was the percentage of patients who lost fewer than 15 letters of best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) compared with baseline The investigators assessed the adverse events, the ophthalmic examination and systemic examinations, and vital parameters. The immunogenicity assessment was based on evaluation of anti-drug antibodies, the investigators described.

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Abnormal ophthalmic findings associated with young patients with brain tumors

Myrthe Nuijts, MD, and colleagues reported identifying abnormal ophthalmologic findings in 78.8% of patients with a brain tumor and advised an ophthalmologic evaluation at the time of diagnosis to detect early vision loss. Nuijts is from the Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The investigators in this multicenter Dutch study, commented, “Ophthalmologic evaluation at diagnosis enables early detection of vision loss, decision-making about treatment, and when applicable, the timely use of visual interventions.”

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Phase 3 Sailing Study: Intravitreal conbercept administered as needed improves vision in patients with DME

Kun Liu, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Shanghai General Hospital Shanghai, China, and associates from multiple centers in China and the US, reported that intravitreal conbercept (KH902, Chengdu Kanghong Biotech Co.) injections administered as needed improved the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) of patients with diabetic macular edema (DME).

The drug’s efficacy was reported to be superior to that achieved with laser photocoagulation.

Conbercept, as described by the investigators, is a recombinant fusion protein with key domains 2, 3, and 4 from vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors 1 and 2. The drug has high affinity for all VEGF isoforms and placental growth factor, they explained.

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AAO 2022

Poll results: Do you plan to attend the 2022 AAO Meeting?

Results from our recent poll regarding AAO 2022 attendance indicate that most ophthalmologists and retina specialists plan to participate in the Annual Meeting in person in Chicago, Illinois.

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AAO to land in Chicago: Subspecialty days, symposia to showcase scientific achievement

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) annual meeting is coming to Chicago, Illinois from September 30 to October 3, featuring Subspecialty Days and a virtual component. The event will be held at Chicago’s McCormick Place, billed as the largest convention center in North America and located on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Debra Rosencrance, vice president of meetings and exhibits at AAO, said that planning is going well for this year’s event. The Midwest locale makes it an easy trip for ophthalmologists from across the country who are traveling to the conference.

“We are pleased to be returning to Chicago,” she said. “With two airports and a world-class convention center, Chicago is built to host large conventions like AAO 2022. Registrations for the in-person meeting are on target and will exceed 2021.”

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