First Luxterna results: Does the $850,000 gene therapy work?

| | May 30, 2018
JackHogan eye
Jack reads letters from a chart to measure the effectiveness of his Luxturna treatment at Mass. Eye and Ear. Image credit: RUBY WALLAU/STAT
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About eight weeks earlier, [Jack Hogan had] been the first person to get an $850,000 therapy called Luxturna since it had hit the market. It was intended to replace a mutant gene in Jack’s retinal cells that impaired his vision.

[Jack’s mother Janette Hogan] could only hope that the drug had worked. Now, the family had driven five hours — from Fair Haven, N.J., to Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston — to find out.

Jack normally needed a personalized screen to help him see what was going on at the front of the class. But on April 16, a few weeks after his second eye was operated on, he could see the board without a visual aid. “It’s amazing,” she said. “He’s in eighth grade, and he’s never seen the whiteboard before.”

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The stories were quotidian — but that was the point. “That’s what they were telling me when he was 5 years old: ‘There’s no cure, he’s probably going to lose his vision by the time he’s 30,’” Jeanette told another family in the waiting room. Now, the everyday seemed miraculous.

[Jack] can now make sense of what is going on in places with three times less light than he could before. In one eye, at least, his vision has also grown sharper, allowing him to read smaller text.

Read full, original post: After nerve-wracking eye surgery, the world comes into focus for early gene therapy recipient

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