Insights + interviews

In Conversation With Adj Assoc Professor Shamira Perera of Singapore National Eye Centre

By  |  0 Comments

Having recently commenced a study on a new treatment for glaucoma at the Singapore National Eye Centre, we speak with one of the study investigators, Adj Assoc Prof Shamira Perera to find out more.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and in Singapore, approximately three percent of people over the age of 50 years have been diagnosed with glaucoma. While the most widely-used treatment for glaucoma is daily eye-drops to lower the intraocular pressure (IOP), there are several barriers to adherence which include patient memory, difficulty with eye drop instillation, or coping with the side effects.

To address these issues, new slow-release solutions such as the Bimatoprost sustained-release (SR) formulation have been developed to offer relief to glaucoma patients without the hassle of using daily eye-drops. The Bimatoprost SR is an implant that is delivered into the front of the eye via an injection and is designed to deliver a rapid and sustained reduction in IOP for up to three to four months.

The Singapore National Eye Centre/Singapore Research Eye Institute (SERI) has recently commenced a two-year-long study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the Bimatroprost SR implant for future drug delivery. To get a better understanding on this, we interview one of their study investigators, Adjunct Associate Professor Shamira Perera (SP), to shed light on the impact of the study on glaucoma patients. Adj Assoc Prof Shamira is also a Senior Consultant in the Glaucoma Department at the Singapore National Eye Centre, as well as the Co-Head of the Bioengineering & Devices Research Group at the SERI. 

AA: Firstly, could you tell us more about glaucoma– what is it and how common is it in Singapore?

SP: The prevalence of glaucoma in those who are 40 and above is over 2 percent and this increases with age. It is an irreversible and progressive disease of the optic nerve with characteristic nerve and visual field changes

AA: What are some of the common symptoms of glaucoma and what are some top risk factors?

SP: It is asymptomatic in the early stages. Risk factors are elevated Intraocular Pressure (IOP), age and myopia.

AA: What are some of the available treatment options at the present, and what are some of the possible side effects?

SP: Eye-drops are the first line of treatment and have a variety of side effects that range from eye redness, lash growth and periorbital pigmentation (dark eye circles), a metallic taste in the mouth, and even breathlessness.

AA: Can you tell us more about the Bimatropost sustained-release (SR) implant and how it can offer relief to those suffering from glaucoma?

SP: A single injection of the Bimatropost SR formulation can replace 4 months of worth of daily eye drops. It also reduces the risk of any periorbital side effects.

AA: I understand that the Singapore National Eye Centre has recently commenced a new study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the Bimatropost (SR) implant. How would this study possibly impact the future of glaucoma?

SP: This is one of those areas that is definitely going to change in 10 years’ time. It will improve compliance rates amongst patients and limit the toxicity of the drug and preservatives to the ocular surface.

For more information about Singapore National Eye Centre, visit



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *