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esults show gene therapy could help those with macular degeneration

Long-term results show gene therapy could help those with macular degeneration

Thursday 04 August 2016

A pioneering treatment is giving new hope to those with macular degeneration. A team at Oxford University have successfully used gene therapy over the long-term to reverse sight loss in a group of patients in the UK and US who otherwise would have gone blind.

By injecting a working copy of the gene into the back of the eye, the researchers found that they not only halted choroideremia, but also revived some of the dying cells and improved the patients’ vision (in some instances, dramatically).

According to Professor Robert Maclaren, the eye surgeon leading the trial, “we seem to have achieved the concept of one single treatment that does not need to repeated which is unlike other medicines” Prof Maclaren has already started to develop gene therapy trials to treat more common forms of blindness including macular degeneration. These trials could begin as early as 2017.

Sources:

  1. BBC News:
    Gene therapy reverses sight loss and is long-lasting.

  2. University of Oxford News:
    Gene therapy shows long-term benefit for treating rare blindness.

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