This Month in Business
Extensive staff cuts at Ophthotech, a startup applying AI to healthcare, and Trefoil and the NIH team up…
Roisin McGuigan |
• The ranibizumab 0.5 mg prefilled syringe (PFS), approved by the FDA late last year, is now available to US ophthalmologists to treat wet AMD, macular edema after retinal vein occlusion and myopic choroidal neovascularization.
•Roche acquired ForSight Vision4, a biotechnology company that is developing refillable intravitreal implant for use with VEGF-A-targeting drugs.
• Following disappointing phase III trial results with Fovista, Ophthotech announced in a recent SEC filing that it is planning to cuts staff numbers by around 80 percent.
• Trefoil Therapeutics has announced its plans to collaborate with the NIH to accelerate the development of their engineered FDF-1 compound, TTHX1114, for the treatment of Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy.
• Hemera Biosciences report that the FDA has granted “safe to proceed” status to their investigational new drug application for HMR59, a gene therapy that’s intended to treat (or at least slow the progression of) dry AMD.
• Optics and imaging giant Nikon has partnered with Verily, the life sciences branch of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc., to develop machine learning-enabled retinal imaging. The technology will be focused on enhancing screening of diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema to improve referrals to eye care specialists.
• Former Googler Adrian Aoun has launched a healthcare startup, Forward, that aims to use artificial intelligence to improve healthcare. Aoun says the company will be built on “beautiful software and hardware, the likes of which we’ve come to know and love from companies like Tesla.”