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Humanized, potent monoclonal antibodies against murine and human integrin avb8 for cancer immunotherapy and prevention of corneal scarring after cataract surgery

Immunotherapy has revolutionized the treatment of many cancers, but even for the most sensitive tumor types most patients do not respond to current immunotherapy regimens. One major block to effective anti-tumor immunity is inhibition of the function of effector T cells by active TGFβ in tumors. For this reason, several major pharmaceutical companies have invested substantial resources in developing inhibitors of TGFβ ligands or TGFβ signaling to enhance anti-tumor immunity. However, because TGFβ isoforms (TGFβ1, 2 and 3) play multiple important homeostatic roles, highly effective inhibition of TGFβ function causes severe toxicity, as seen by the embryonic or perinatal lethality of knockout of each of the 3 mammalian TGFβs. Even the relatively ineffective TGFβ inhibitors that have entered clinical trials have been withdrawn because of unacceptable toxicity (cardiac valve thickening and skin cancer). We have thus spent the past 20 years developing drugs targeting TGFβ activating integrins, which only activate a small fraction of extracellular latent TGFβ in precise contexts relevant to specific diseases, with the goal of increasing precision and greatly reducing the potential for toxicity. 

Laser Photocoagulation To Stabilize Collector Channels To Enhance Aqueous Flows

Inventors at the University of California, Irvine have developed a laser-emitting device that treats glaucoma by enlarging and stabilizing collector channels in order to enhance aqueous outflow and reduce intraocular pressure (IOP).

Treatment Of Inherited Retinal Disease

Researchers at UCI have developed a method of treating inherited retinal diseases, such as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) and retinitis pigmentosa, by gene therapy of the RPE65 nonsense mutation. This method uses base editor-mediated genome-editing by viral delivery and lead to improved patient treatment through enhanced editing of single base pairs and reduced off-target genomic editing.

Anti-microbial, Immune-modulating, Naturally-derived Adjunctive Therapies

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed adjunctive therapies applicable to multiple types of infectious conditions. These therapies – derived from compounds found in natural herbs - also have potential prophylactic efficacy.

Corneal Spectroscopy

Methods and systems for determination of one or more substances within a material are described. A flow of fluorescence-exciting/ablative energy (e.g., laser pulse(s), preferably in the ultraviolet region (e.g. 193-nm)), is directed onto the material to ablate a thin layer of the material using photochemical decomposition. Simultaneously, the laser energy induces fluorescence of the substance(s) within the ablated layer of the material. The fluorescence emitted by the substance(s) is then received by a device, which measures the spectrum of the received fluorescence. The fluorescence spectra are then transmitted to a spectral processing device adapted to determine, on the basis of the fluorescence spectra, whether the substance(s) of interest is/are present in the material and/or the concentration at which the substance(s) of interest is/are present in the material. This process may be repeated for each layer of the material to determine the concentration gradient of the substance(s) of interest in the material.

Polarization-Sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography Using a Polarization-Insensitive Detector

A polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) is a common approach to non-invasively imaging in biomedical applications. The inventors have come up with a new way of creating a PS-OCT that is cheaper and simpler.

Implantable Substance Delivery Devices

This invention describes a method for preparing an implantable device made from biocompatible polymers for sustained delivery of a substance within a body of human or an animal.

Combination treatment to rescue age related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness in people over 60 years old. One form, called “dry” AMD is caused by slow cell death of the central retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE cells), and currently has no treatment. Researchers at UCI have found that by combining a repurposed FDA approved drug in combination with a natural product, they are able to prevent cell death of RPE cells by boosting mitochondria activity.

Steroid Regulation Of Inwardly Rectifying K+ Channel As Therapeutics Tool

UC Berkeley researches have discovered a new physiological modality of a potassium channel that is linked to the process of fluid regulation in the brain and is expressed in the choroid plexus (CP) and retinal pigment epithelia. CP is the main producer of cerebrospinal fluid that serves as a buffer to protect the brain, provides it with nutrients and removes waste products. The researchers have shown that application of progesterone resulted in strong potentiation of the inwardly rectifying potassium channel. The potentiation was progesterone-specific and independent of other known membrane progesterone receptors expressed in CP. 

A Method to Measure Perceptual Thresholds

UCLA researchers in the Department of Psychology have developed a method to accurately measure a patient’s perceptual (visual, auditory, etc.) threshold unaffected by patient response bias.

Shear Wave Based Elasticity Imaging Using 3D Segmentation For Ocular Disease Diagnosis

 Retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), are the leading cause of blindness in the elderly population. Since no known cures are currently present, it is crucial to diagnose the condition in its early stages so that disease progression is monitored. Systems and methods for detecting and mapping the mechanical elasticity of retinal layers in the posterior eye are disclosed herein. A system including confocal shear wave acoustic radiation force optical coherence elastography (SW-ARF-OCE) is provided, wherein an ultrasound transducer and an optical scan head are co-aligned to facilitate in-vivo study of the retina. In addition, an automatic segmentation algorithm is used to isolate tissue layers and analyze the shear wave propagation within the retinal tissue to estimate mechanical stress on the retina and detect early stages of retinal diseases based on the estimated mechanical stress. US patent application no.  20190335996 

Method For Optogenetic Treatment Of Blindness Including Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) refers to disorders characterized by degeneration of photoreceptors in the eye which hinders visual ability by nonfunctional neuronal activation and transmission of signals to the cortex. The prevalence of this disease is at least one million individuals.The optogenetic treatment is based on a very recent phenomenon where chemically identical neurons can be activated by blue light with high temporal precision by introducing a light-activated molecular channel, named channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), into specific groups of cells by genetic targeting. There is a need of a systematic method for nonviral delivery of the ChR2 gene into retinal ganglion cells of the adult retina so as to create visually evoked potentials in the visual cortex.The illustrated embodiments of the invention includes an in vivo method for sensitizing retinal ganglion cells in an eye without use of viral transfection includes the steps of nonviral in vivo delivering of gene coding for channelrhodospsin-2 (ChR2) or any photosensitive genetic material now known or later devised to target the retinal ganglion cells of a retina by intravitreous injection of plasmid DNA; and electroporating the plasmid into the retina. In addition to intravitreous injection of plasmid DNA or photosensitive genetic material, plasmid DNA or photosensitive genetic material may be inserted into the eye by ionotophoresis of the plasmids into the eye.

Automatic Identification of Ophthalmic Medication for The Visually Impaired

Researchers at UCI are developing technology that allows visually impaired patients to use their smartphones to take pictures of their eye medication/eye drop bottles. The technology will recognize the eye medication and verbally communicate the medication and will audibly confirm the medication along with the instructions on use.

Clinical Prognostication Test In Uveal Melanoma

Uveal melanoma commonly known as ocular or choroidal melanoma, is a rare cancer of the eye. It is an intraocular malignancy that arises from melanocytes of the choroid, ciliary body, and iris of the eye. Ocular melanoma is diagnosed in approximately 2,000-2,500 adults annually in the United States. In both the U.S. and Europe, this equates to about 5 - 7.5 cases per million people per year and, for people over 50 years old, the incidence rate increases to around 21 per million per year. While the primary tumor is highly treatable, about half of the patients will develop metastasis —typically to the liver. Metastatic disease is universally fatal. While traditional staging methods such as tumor size and location, still play a role in assessing metastatic risk, they are rarely used to individualize patient management plans. Newer methods include chromosomal gene expression analysis, yet these methods have their technical limitations. Clearly, what is needed is a better, cheaper and reproducible prognostic test.

Vaccines Against Herpes Simplex Virus Infection

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections affect billions of patients worldwide and can manifest its symptoms as painful blisters or ulcers at oral, ocular or genital locations. Symptomatic patients can currently only alleviate their pains with antiviral medication. These technologies propose a shift in focus toward novel protective epitopes as the foundation for new vaccines.

Inhibition Of Lipofuscin Aggregation By Molecular Tweezers

UCLA researchers in the Departments of Neurology and Molecular Therapy & Medical Genetics have developed a novel approach toward broad inhibition of lipofuscin aggregation.

Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes for the Treatment of Corneal Scarring

UCLA researchers in the Department of Ophthalmology have developed a novel method to heal corneal scarring using exosomes from immortalized corneal stem cells.

Safe Vector for Glaucoma Gene Therapy

UCLA researchers from the Department of Ophthalmology have developed a novel gene therapy approach to cure eye diseases such as glaucoma using naked plasmid DNA.

Anti-Microbial Contact Lens With Ocular Drug Delivery

Anti-microbial, anti-fungal drug eluting contact lens for the controlled release of ophthalmic therapeutics.

Novel Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Fungal Nanopillared Surface

Medical devices are susceptible to contamination by harmful microbes, such as bacteria and fungi, which form biofilms on device surfaces. These biofilms are often resistant to antibiotics and other current treatments, resulting in over 2 million people per year suffering from diseases related to these contaminating microbes. Death rates for many of these diseases are high, often exceeding 50%. Researchers at UCI have developed a novel anti-bacterial and anti-fungal biocomposite that incorporates a nanopillared surface structure that can be applied as a coating to medical devices.

Sieve Container For Contactless Media Exchange For Cell Growth

Media that contains nutrients and growth factors is necessary to grow all types of cells, a process that is widely used in many fields of research. Such media should be routinely changed either to different media or a fresh batch of the same media. This change currently involves either using a pipette to transfer cells from their current dish of media to a new dish, or aspirating the media out of the dish and replacing it with new media. Both methods have inherent risks to stressing and damaging the cells. Researchers at UCI have developed a unique dish for growing cells that allows for safer aspiration of the old media, which reduces stress and damage to the cells.

Scanning Method For Uniform, Normal-Incidence Imaging Of Spherical Surface With A Single Beam

UCLA researchers have created a method that achieves uniform normal-incident illumination of a spherical surface by first projecting the sphere onto a Cartesian plane and then raster scanning it using an illuminating beam. This allows the scanned object, the illumination source, and the detector to remain stationary.

Xenobiotic-Free Culture System To Expand Human Limbal Stem Cells

UCLA researchers in the Departments of Opthalmology have developed a xenobiotic-free manufacturing process to produce transplantable human limbal stem cells for use in treating limbal stem cell deficiency.

Induction of Corneal Endothelial Cells

Ocular degenerative diseases including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, and corneal endothelial dystrophy (CED) cause irreversible vision loss and affect millions of people worldwide. Currently, there is no effective drug intervention. Grafting healthy eye cells to replenish the diseased tissues such as retina represents a promising therapeutic approach. However, previous attempts at using primary human eye cells have met with limited success due to the limited expansion capacity and differentiation potential of adult progenitors or difficulty of obtaining sufficient human fetal retinal progenitors, and possible ethical concerns. Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), including human embryonic stem cells (ESCs), and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) represent promising renewable donor sources for cell-based replacement therapy. Nevertheless, PSCs themselves are not suitable for direct transplantation in clinical applications due to their tendency to form teratomas and low efficiency in repopulating host tissues with desirable reprogrammed cell types in vivo. While the advancement of clinical trials of hESC-derived RPE transplants for treatment of patients with Stargardt's macular dystrophy and AMD is encouraging to the field, there is a great need for methods of generating unlimited other specialized eye cells effectively in vitro for treating blindness due to the loss of photoreceptors, RGCs and CECs. Therefore, there is a major interest in development of in vitro expandable cell sources for engineering corneal endothelium.

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