#OphthalmologyWeekly: Transplant concerns, first-in-class, r
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Researchers report the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in post-mortem corneal tissue. They assessed 132 ocular tissues from 33 donors and detected coronavirus RNA in 13% of samples. A small subset of eyes was successfully disinfected with 5% povidone-iodine, but the efficacy of disinfection needs to be confirmed in a larger study.

A first-in-class glaucoma eye drop posted positive phase 2 results in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, according to Aerpio Pharmaceuticals. Twice-daily administrations of latanoprost and razuprotafib—a small molecule that activates the Tie2 pathway—led to significantly lower IOP than eyes treated with latanoprost alone. Once-daily razuprotafib monotherapy did not appear to offer any significant benefits. Additional results are expected in the first half of 2021.

Meanwhile, another phase 2 trial demonstrated the potential of a first-in-class treatment for dry eye disease. In the 160-patient study, the melanocortin agonist PL9643 appeared to significantly improve signs and symptoms of moderate to severe disease at 2 and 12 weeks. The treatment was well tolerated and did not induce safety concerns.

A new transplantable retinal patch is under development, Lead investigator David Gamm, MD, Ph.D., plans to use induced pluripotent stem cells to design a patch that can replace damaged photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium. He hopes the patch will eventually restore vision to military personnel blinded while on duty and treat degenerative eye diseases.

A new case study details a curious case of rosette-shaped deposits on the anterior IOL surface. Physicians from Denmark observed the phenomenon in a 25-year-old woman with pauciarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis and associated panuveitis complicated by cataract and glaucoma. At age 6, she underwent cataract surgery and received a corneal ACR6D hydrophilic acrylic IOL. Subsequently, bilateral deposits with a unique rosette-shaped morphology developed on the anterior IOL surface. Surgeons attempted surgical and Nd:YAG laser removal, but both were unsuccessful. Thus far, there have only been 2 identified cases of calcium phosphate deposits of a similar morphology in the pediatric age group.