Representatives from Abbott Laboratories said the company agreed to pay $400 million for Visiogen Inc., a privately held maker of cataract-correction technology, as Abbott continues its push into the eye care business. Abbott first entered the eye care market in February when it paid nearly $1.4 billion for Advanced Medical Optics. Abbott officials expect to close the deal with Visiogen in the fourth quarter.

A study of Galileo Galilei’s written works, handwriting and original portraits indicated that the famous physicist, astronomer and philosopher became blind. The study, published in the September/October issue of Survey of Ophthalmology, suggested that his left eye tended to lose fixation and that he suffered from a mucocele of the right frontal sinus by age 60. Considering the systemic diseases from which he suffered during his lifetime, Galileo could possibly have had a long-standing uveitis with secondary pupillary block glaucoma.

Ganciclovir, a potent, broad-spectrum antiviral medication, showed promise in treating herpetic keratitis in preclinical studies. Because it inhibits viral (not cellular) DNA, ganciclovir is not expected to demonstrate the same toxicity that is associated with trifluridine––the only FDA-approved treatment for herpes simplex keratitis in the U.S. Thus far, one clinical study concluded that patients treated with ganciclovir ophthalmic gel exhibited higher overall healing rates and fewer incidences of relapse than patients medicated with acyclovir ophthalmic ointment.