San Clemente, Calif.-based Glaukos Corp. reported 22% net sales growth to $65.8 million in the final quarter of 2019, up from $54.1 million in the same period a year ago. However, it also warned that increasing competition in the microinvasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) space could dampen 2020 growth in its U.S. glaucoma business. Speaking with analysts on a fourth-quarter earnings call, CEO Thomas Burns said good conversion rates and growing surgeon interest in its next-generation trabecular bypass device, Istent Inject, may not be enough to counter the headwind.
Lineage Cell Therapeutics Inc. CEO Brian Culley told BioWorld that concerns about the pace of the company’s dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) phase I/IIa trial have been alleviated after an independent data safety monitoring board (DSMB) decreed that the study’s protocol-mandated treatment stagger can be removed.
Shares of Eyegate Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:EYEG) rose 54.8% to $7.09 Friday on news that its ocular bandage gel (OBG) proved superior to standard of care in healing corneal wounds following photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) surgery. The pivotal top-line data will allow the Waltham, Mass.-based company to submit a de novo application to the FDA for commercialization in the first half of 2020, said CEO Stephen From. If approved, the OBG eye drop would be the first product indicated to repair corneal epithelial defects, as well as the first prescription hyaluronic acid (HA) eye drop in the U.S., creating new competition for widely used bandage contact lenses (BCL).
The U.S. FDA has given its final approval to Coopervision Inc.'s Misight 1 day, the first contact lens designed to slow the progression of myopia, or near-sightedness, in children. The single use, disposable, soft contact lens is indicated for children who are diagnosed with myopia and begin Misight treatment at an early age. Specifically, the FDA indication said that "Misight (omafilcon A) daily wear single use soft contact lenses are indicated for the correction of myopic ametropia and for slowing the progression of myopia in children with non-diseased eyes, who at the initiation of treatment are 8-12 years of age and have a refraction of -0.75 to -4.00 diopters (spherical equivalent) with ≤ 0.75 diopters of astigmatism. The lens is to be discarded after each removal."
Two pieces of legislation of interest to the med-tech industry are making the rounds in Washington. One would require that online sales of contact lenses be accompanied only by a prescription, and the other would bolster telehealth services for methamphetamine addiction in rural areas, where the narcotic's epidemic has taken much of its toll. The bills arrive as other developments suggest an improved environment for contact lenses and telemedicine, auguring a better market for both in the months and years ahead.