Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) devices and stents, which are designed to lower intraocular pressure (IOP), have dominated the field of glaucoma. However, a few companies have emerged onto the ever-growing glaucoma surgical device market who are taking a different approach to treatment.
Neuromodtronic GmbH have developed a device to prevent further optic nerve damage and restore vision loss using electrical stimulation. Eyetronic is advertised as the ‘the first treatment of glaucoma that can improve visual fields’ and uses gentle electrical pulses to stimulate the optic nerve. So far, 500 people have had the treatment, with no significant side effects. 32% of patients in a 2019 study of 72 people showed partial visual-field restoration, whilst ‘no further disease progression was observed’ after 12 months – Karl Schweitzer, CEO.
MicroOptx developed the Beacon Aqueaous Microshunt, aiming to target refractory glaucoma. However, there are hopes of treating normal-tension and primary angle-closure glaucoma in the future, according to Chris Pulling, CEO. Their device shunts aqueous humour from the anterior chamber to the surface of the eye.
BELKIN Vision (Belkin Laser ltd) has announced the results from their first-in-human trial using their one-second direct selective laser trabeculoplasty. Patients with open-angle glaucoma who received this treatment have seen a 27% reduction in IOP with no serious side effects.
As an alternative to MIGS, Sanoculis Ltd. are focussing on minimally invasive micro sclerostomy. A surgeon creates a sclerocorneal drainage channel to enable fluid control and reduce IOP in a procedure which lasts less than a minute. Nir Israeli, CEO, stated that 140 patients have received this treatment, with 53% reduction in IOP after six months.
Matilda Parente, CMO of ELT Sight has reported the long-term benefits of their ExTra Excimer Laser Trabeculostomy method. IOP was reduced by 38% after 5 years.
Ivantis, Inc are also hoping to see long-term benefits for their Hydrus Microstent, a MIGS device which recently received FDA approval for the treatment of mild to moderate primary open-angle glaucoma alongside cataract surgery. Global SPECTRUM’s patient registry included 900 patients with an average drop of 20% in IOP in those who had concurrent cataract surgery and 30% for those who received stand-alone microstent placement, showing consistent results after year 1, 2 and 3.
It is exciting to see how the glaucoma market is developing and we will be keeping an eye out for any future developments in this space.
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.