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Gene Therapy Shows Promise Against Age-Related Macular Degeneration

According to MedicalNewsToday.com, a gene therapy approach using a protein called CD59, or
protectin, shows promise in slowing the signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a new in vivo study by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine.

“Treatment was effective when administered at a very specific location beneath the retina, but importantly, also when it was administered to the center of the eye. This finding is especially encouraging because it would allow for a safer and more convenient route of administration of treatment,” said co-first author Siobhan Cashman, PhD, assistant professor in the department of ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine and member of Kumar-Singh’s lab.

The current standard treatment for some forms of AMD requires an injection directly into the eye approximately every four weeks. According to Kumar-Singh, gene therapy approaches to treat AMD are especially attractive because they will allow patients to be treated less frequently, reducing patient discomfort and lowering chances of infection and other side effects associated with frequent injections into the eye.

“Prior to initiating human clinical trials, we will need to perform extensive preclinical toxicology studies. In order to advance this study to Phase I clinical trials, we have formed a partnership with Hemera Biosciences Inc. to raise private venture capital,” said Kumar-Singh. For more information, click here to view full report.

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