The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (S. 1955), created to develop small business health plans exempt from several state coverage requirements, was rejected by the U.S. Senate on May 11. The American Optometric Association lobbied to halt the act, as it would have fully authorized small business health plans to discriminate against O.D.s as health-care providers.

Acuity Pharmaceuticals made an agreement with ZaBeCor Pharmaceutical Company to exclusively develop the ophthalmic application of a small interfering RNA (siRNA) created to quiet syk kinasea key gene linked to inflammation. This siRNA has been proven effective by ZaBeCor to treat asthma and other inflammatory problems. Preliminary data reveal that the siRNA may treat uveitis and other ocular inflammatory conditions.

Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. has engineered zinc-finger DNA binding protein transcription factors (ZFP TF) to regulate the gene for pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF)a well-established target for wet AMD.

Vol. No: 143:06Issue: 6/15/2006