Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide.
National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health

Scientists have identified a chemical that could one day be used in eye drops to treat cataracts — potentially eliminating the need for expensive surgery, the only treatment option currently available.

The research team was led by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor but included researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle and Washington University in St. Louis. The group found that eye drops made with a type of steroid could partially reverse cataracts in mice.

(via Flickr/orangeacid)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given St. Louis-based Mobius Therapeutics LLC the go-ahead to start production of a drug for use in eye surgery.

Mobius plans to have other St. Louis-area companies make and distribute the new drug, called Mitosol, which is FDA-approved for use in surgeries to treat glaucoma. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States.