A new gene therapy for one of the most common forms of congenital blindness was safe and improved patients’ vision, according to initial data from a clinical trial led by researchers at the Scheie Eye Institute in the Perelman School of Medicine.
The therapy delivers working copies of GUCY2D to the eyes of patients who have severe vision impairments caused by mutations in the gene. Each of the first three treated patients experienced improvement in some aspects of vision, without serious side effects, according to the new study, published in the journal iScience.
“We found sustained improvements in both day and night vision, even with a relatively low dose of the gene therapy,” says study lead author Samuel G. Jacobson, a professor of ophthalmology in the Perelman School of Medicine.
The GUCY2D gene is one of about 25 different human genes whose mutations cause problems in the retina, leading to severe vision impairment from birth or early childhood. This family of inherited retinal disorders, collectively known as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), accounts for a considerable portion of blindness in children worldwide.
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