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    2015 brings big Medicare changes, small technology changes to glaucoma surgery


    Micro-invasive glaucoma surgery

    In the shadows cast by these financial storm clouds, it’s easy to overlook the technological improvements that inched forward in 2015, including micro-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) devices, CO2-assisted laser sclerectomy, pattern-scanning laser trabeculectomy and other new laser systems. “I think that are a lot of things out there that people are waiting to hear about,” said Richard K. Parrish, II, MD, chairman of ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

    Multiple MIGS stents chartered milestones in 2015. Among them:

    ·       A study published in November showed that two of Glaukos’ iStent stents could produce sustained reductions in intraocular pressure (IOP) of less than 15 mmHg through 36 months. And a study presented in June showed that implanting two of the stents at one time could achieve results comparable to travoprost, allowing some patients to stop medication altogether. The iStent was approved in the United States in 2012.

    ·       In April AqueSys announced that its Xen gelatin stent effectively lowers IOP in patients whose collector systems cannot be used. The Xen is approved in Europe but not in the United States. IN September, Allergan announced t would acquire AqueSys for $300 million

    ·       In November, InnFocus announced that it is was expanding a trial that compares its MicroShunt to trabeculectomy for the treatment of early, moderate and late stage primary open angle glaucoma (POAG).

    ·       In April, Ivantis announced that it had completed enrollment for a pivotal trial of is Hydrus Microstent.

    ·       In October, Transcend announced that it had filed a premarket approval application with the FDA for its CyPass microstent, and in November it settled patent litigation with Glaukos.

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