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U.S. Senator raises awareness of amblyopia

U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-MO) revealed that he suffers from permanent vision loss in one eye as a result of undiagnosed amblyopia in childhood. He pledged his support for efforts to educate parents about the important role of preventative vision care in children.

"It is absolutely vital that parents take their children to an eye doctor before [the children] start school," said Sen. Bond. "Had [my parents] done so, I could have avoided a lifetime of vision loss."

He has teamed up with the "Check Yearly" campaign, which educates parents about the importance of eye exams in children. Sen. Bond will appear in a public service announcement (PSA) with Kennedy Biederman, the National Amblyopia Youth spokesperson.

The PSA will be distributed to more than 7,000 media outlets and will be converted into a poster for nationwide distribution.

Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Inc., Bethesda, MD, said it has voluntarily suspended its tacrolimus eye drops development program due to FDA safety concerns about Protopic, a prescription cream for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Protopic's active ingredient is tacrolimus.

The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) will hold its Summer Refractive Congress in Seattle's Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Aug. 4 to 7.

Genaera Corp. said it initiated the first of two planned global phase III clinical trials for squalamine lactate (Evizon), a possible treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Bausch & Lomb announced it will nearly double the size of its main research and development (R&D) center in Rochester, NY. The new two-story, 75,000-square-foot glass-and-brick wing will house laboratories and offices. It also will allow room for a future 25,000-square-foot addition.

Diabetic retinopathy was found in nearly 8% of participants who were pre-diabetic and 12% of participants with type 2 diabetes in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). The results were reported in a presentation at the American Diabetes Association's recent annual meeting.

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