New diabetes drug: Initial results of a phase III clinical trial demonstrated that 32mg per day of the oral drug ruboxistaurin (RBX) was well tolerated and may reduce the risk of moderate vision loss, especially in patients who have diabetic macular edema. RBX, developed by Eli Lilly, blocks the activity of protein kinase C-beta, an enzyme linked to diabetic complications of the eye and other parts of the body.

One in three nursing home residents who have Alzheimers disease doesnt use or doesnt have glasses strong enough to correct eyesight, according to a study in Julys Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. Vision problems can aggravate symptoms of dementia by making it more difficult for a person to function, the study says. Patients become so sensory-deprived that they are virtually shut off from the outside world, the researchers say.

Bausch & Lomb will acquire a majority interest in the Shandong Chia Tai Freda Pharmaceutical Group (CTF), an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company in China, from Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd. CTF produces medications to treat ocular inflammation and infection, glaucoma and dry eye, including the Moisten and Mioclear lines of eye drops. The deal is expected to close later this year.

Vol. No: 142:8Issue: 8/15/2005