Glaucoma and cataracts are two of the most commonly encountered diseases that ophthalmologists deal with on a daily basis — so, any new advances in treatment are a cause for celebration. When such news arrives in two’s it’s time for double delight — and we can bring that to you today. Firstly, a new form of laser technology is making waves in glaucoma treatment; and secondly, a new drug treatment for cataract is on the horizon.
We Won’t Shoot Your Eye Out
These days, whenever we hear about a new innovation in ophthalmic technology, it often seems like such news comes from Israel — and today is no exception. The Silicon Wadi, a region in Israel known for its plethora of high-tech industries, produces a lot of really cool stuff. The latest offering that piqued our interest is a new automated and non-contact glaucoma laser treatment by BELKIN Vision (Yavne, Israel): The Eagle laser.
BELKIN Vision specializes in developing innovations in glaucoma care and the Eagle laser is marketed as the only non-contact laser treatment currently available. It’s also completely automated, which should significantly improve access to treatment as the laser does not require specially trained technicians to operate. Also, it utilizes Direct Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (DSLT), which provides fully automated glaucoma treatment: It’s intuitive, efficient and pretty darn cool.
An Eye Drop to Treat Cataract
Now for cataract — and the possibility of a drug treatment for the condition — which can only be treated with surgery at present. Thanks to a group of researchers from Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge, U.K.) we might see the deployment of oxysterol compound VP1-001 to the market soon. It might need a catchier name by then, but this compound already holds some serious promise.
During laboratory trials, the compound exhibited considerable improvement in refractive index profiles (which is a key optical parameter required to maintain high focusing capacity) in 61% of lenses. The effect of this is to reduce the protein organization of the lens being treated, which in turn allows the lens to focus better on foreign objects. As a result, lens opacity was reduced in 46% of cases. When you consider that millions of people are currently affected by cataract, you can see the potential of this treatment.
Will these two new developments help to revolutionize their respective areas of treatment? Well, time will tell, but we can say with certainty that they both exhibit tremendous promise — especially the oxysterol compound VP1-001 as a non-surgical treatment for cataract. Let’s hope that both work out and enjoy a strong entry to the market.