Gene therapy "may be extended to other eye diseases"

Gene therapy "may be extended to other eye diseases"

A form of gene therapy which was successfully trialled to treat a type of inherited blindness is to be extended to other eye conditions, experts have revealed.

After being "inspired" by the success using gene therapy to correct Leber"s congenital amaurosis, specialists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania are taking it to the next step.

Dr Jean Bennett, Kirby professor of ophthalmology at the facility, said that in order to broaden the treatment of inherited eye diseases the experts will need a larger vector toolkit.

"What we have seen of AAV8 gives us hope for creating gene therapies for diseases that attack the retina"s photoreceptors," he added.

In other research into inherited blindness, a recent study published in Human Molecular Genetics and carried out by experts from Ruhr-University revealed that experts have discovered the cause of retinitis pigmentosa, in a development which could have major implications for thousands of people across the planet.

by Adrian Galbreth

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