Drug administered pre-birth may stop common gene mutations from causing blindness

| | September 16, 2016
f Blindness drugs
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Researchers at Dalhousie Medical School have discovered a drug with the potential to stop babies born with familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) from going blind.

This potential breakthrough wouldn’t have been possible without ophthalmologist Dr. Johane Robitaille…who discovered the FEVR gene mutations and how it worked. When Robitaille mutated the gene, she found the veins and arteries in the retina weren’t developing properly. The identification of this gene allowed scientists…to begin finding way to repair this mutation.

While doctors can manage complications from FEVR, there is currently no treatment for the disease. [Dr. Chris] McMaster and Robitaille plan to be conducting clinical trials for the drug within four years. The ideal recipient, if the treatment is approved, would be newborns screened positive for FEVR’s genetic mutation.

If the drug passes clinical trials and can cure newborns of FEVR, researchers hope the same drug can be used to cure babies with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), the number one cause of blindness in the first world.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Cure For Blindness Is In Sight: Treating Genetic Mutation FEVR Before Babies Are Born

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