Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited eye disease which affects the retina, and impacts around 1.5 million people globally. In Vision Executives’ article on gene therapy, which was published in the The Ophthalmologist Magazine, we explored how some companies were aiming to use gene therapy to treat retinitis pigmentosa. Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (AGTC) are a recent addition to this selection of companies who are aiming to treat the disease with gene therapy.
AGTC have released their 3-month interim data from their phase 2 Skyline trail of AGTC-501, an AAV viral vector-based gene therapy which targets the RPGR gene in patients with X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP). The results showed improvements in visual sensitivity in multiple patients after 3 months, the trials primary efficacy endpoint.
As with their phase 1/2 results, AGTC-501 was well tolerated with no clinically relevant safety concerns. ATGC believe this favourable safety profile is due to a strong focus on product design, extensive preclinical testing and enhanced inclusion and exclusion criteria.
“We are incredibly excited by the compelling interim results seen in the Skyline trial, including strong safety data and robust improvements in visual sensitivity with a clear difference between the two dose groups. These results add to the growing body of evidence supporting the best-in-class potential of AGTC-501 for the treatment of XLRP.” Sue Washer, President and CEO of AGTC.
AGTC-501 is an exciting development for the treatment of XLRP, a disease which currently has no FDA approved treatments.
SightGlass Vision, Inc. Presents their Two Year Data for Myopia Control Efficacy for Vision Spectacle Lenses
Glasses which use SightGlass Vision Diffusion Optics Technology have demonstrated success in slowing the progression of myopia in children. This is based on a 24-month interim data from the clinical trial ARVO 2022.
There was an analysis undertaken of full-time glasses wearers, between the ages of 6 and 10, whose parents reported a lack of near vision improvement with the use of study spectacles. With the Diffusion Optics Technology lenses, there were statistically significant improvements between the groups.
The study was conducted by enrolling, randomising, and dispensing the lenses to 256 eligible children over 14 clinical trials, which were held in the United States and Canada.
Lenses which use the patent protected SightGlass Vision Diffusion Optics Technology include ‘thousands of micro-dots that softly scatter light to reduce contrast on the retina.’ This method aims to reduce the progression of myopia in children.
“We’re enthusiastic about sharing more detail from the two-year interim results, which will further support our development efforts and ongoing commercialization activities in select markets.” Andrew Sedgwick, CEO of SightGlass Vision.
Myopia is the leading cause of visual impairment in children. SightGlass Vision's data is a promising and exciting development in treating it.
To stay up to date with the latest eye care news and vacancies follow Vision Executives!
Ophthalmic medical care in Ukraine has been heavily disrupted by the Russian invasion. In Ukraine, private clinics provide half of the countries eyecare, and these have been closed due to the war. Practitioners have adapted by providing online consultations where they can, as this is currently the safest option. Elsewhere, ophthalmologists in the centre of the war have moved to field hospitals.
✅Ophthalmic Aid to Eastern Europe:
In 1990, Ophthalmic Aid to Eastern Europe (OAEE) was set up with the aim to provide ophthalmic instruments, equipment, textbooks, and journals for post-graduate centres in Eastern European countries. OAEE have also organised teaching visits to numerous Eastern European countries, and funded workshops in Moldova, Romania, and Russia.
In 1993 the first humanitarian support to Ukraine, ‘Focus on Lviv’ began. ‘It was a timely and very valuable support for ophthalmologists at Lviv Medical University, especially after the collapse of the former Soviet Union and the deterioration of funding in medicine’, giving valuable help to Ukrainian ophthalmologists. Further shipments of ophthalmic aid were sent to Centre of Eye Microsurgery in Kyiv and Lviv Medical University in 1996 and 1997.
Post-graduate training programmes in Ukraine were organised in 2002, giving a variety of lectures on clinical ophthalmology. In 2014 and 2017, Ukraine received grants from OAEE for short-term training placements at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, giving young Ukrainian ophthalmologists the opportunity to gain valuable experience.
✅The United Kingdom and Ireland Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons
The charity and educational ophthalmic society, the United Kingdom and Ireland Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (UKISCRS) have donated £5,000 to support ophthalmology in Ukraine during these difficult times.
This donation came about from a unanimous vote and the money will go to the The European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) Surgeons restricted fund, which intends to support the ophthalmic industry and its practitioners in Ukraine. In a statement about the donation, the UKISCRS praised the work being carried out in the country “Our thoughts are very much with [Ukraine], and we extend our respect and admiration for [their] continuing to carry out their vital work within a population that now needs them more than ever.”
To understand more about how the war in Ukraine is impacting the ophthalmology industry, and how, more than ever, provisions for eyecare and ophthalmology is needed, please take the time to watch this video by COOKIE Magazine: (Matt Y. great work to put this together)
If you are aware of other aid the ophthalmology and eye care industry are providing to the Ukraine during this war, please mention it in the comments so they can be recognised for their selfless work.
James Pickering is our Managing Director and an eye care recruitment expert who has developed an extensive client base and candidate network. He regularly writes articles about industry developments and has received numerous recommendations from industry leaders. You can also connect with James on LinkedIn to stay up to date on the latest eye care news.