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Forty High-Impact Retinal-Research Efforts Highlighted at FFB-Casey Innovation Summit

Hosted by the Foundation Fighting Blindness and Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, the Innovation Summit for Retinal Cell and Gene Therapy has emerged as one of the most essential events for researchers and companies developing treatments and cures for retinal degenerative diseases.

In its fifth year, the Innovation Summit featured 40 presentations from industry experts from around the world. More than 250 people were in attendance. The event was held on April 27, the day before the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) in Honolulu.
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Call to Action: Ask Congress to Support $1 Billion in Eye Research

Audio version:

An important bill has been introduced to the US House of Representatives that has the potential to greatly increase research funding for all blinding eye conditions, including retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, Leber congenital amaurosis, Usher syndrome, and age-related macular degeneration.
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Retinal Regeneration: Releasing Your Inner Salamander

Audio version:

For someone with a retinal disease such as retinitis pigmentosa or macular degeneration, their vision loss is caused by photoreceptor degeneration. Photoreceptors are the retinal cells that capture light and convert it into electrical signals, which are sent back to the brain where they are used to create the images we see.
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VISIONS2018 Live Stream

Watch VISIONS 2018 LIVE on June 22 & 23

Get the inside scoop on this year’s top research advances and what’s next in retinal disease science by watching VISIONS 2018 LIVE!

We will be streaming several of our annual VISIONS conference sessions live on Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23. The sessions will be live streamed here on our blog, and our national Facebook as well.

Here’s the full schedule of live sessions:

Friday, June 22, 2018

  • 9:00 a.m. PDT – 10:15 a.m. PDT– Opening Session: Mission Possible! The Year’s Top Advances and What’s Next in Retinal Disease Science
  • 12:30 p.m. PDT – 2:00 p.m. PDT – Keynote Luncheon: Think Outside our Perceived Limitations
  • 3:10 p.m. PDT – 4:15 p.m. PDT – What You Need to Know About Genetics, Genetic Testing, and Patient Registries
  • 4:20 p.m. PDT – 5:25 p.m. PDT – Clinical Trials Update and Is a Clinical Trial Right for You?

Saturday, June 23, 2018

  • 9:00 a.m. PDT – 10:25 a.m. PDT – Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) Research and Clinical Updates
  • 10:30 a.m. PDT – 11:40 a.m. PDT– Stress Management and Self-Care for People with Degenerative Diseases
  • 1:00 p.m. PDT – 2:35 p.m. PDT – Adapting and Thriving: Find Your Product – Tips and Tools for Peak Personal Performance
  • 3:05 p.m. PDT – 4:30 p.m. PDT – Closing Session: Featuring Biotech Executive Emmett Cunningham and Chapter Awards

The full list of the many sessions that will be live on the blog, with additional details, is also on our website here.

We hope you’ll tune in, share it with your friends, and learn more about the promising new advances in retinal research.

 

French Gene Therapy Company Advancing Three Programs for Retinal Diseases

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Horama, a French biotech developing gene therapies for rare eye diseases, was established in 2014 as a spin-off of INSERM, France’s public scientific and technology institute. Today, the company has three gene-therapy development programs underway for rare inherited retinal diseases, targeting people with mutations in the genes PDE6B, RPE65, and RLBP1.
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ARVO 2018: Dr. Henry Klassen Provides Update on jCyte Stem Cell Trials

Dr. Henry Klassen, jCyte co-founder and investigator at UC Irvine, provides an update in the video below on the clinical trials for an RP therapy derived from stem cells.

ARVO 2018: Port Delivery System Designed to Reduce Burden of Lucentis Injections for Wet AMD

Dr. Christopher Brittain, Genentech medical director, discusses his company’s port delivery system, a tiny capsule implanted into the eye, for delivery of Lucentis® over a period of a few months. The device is currently in a Phase 2 clinical trial.

The image on the right shows the port implanted into an eye.

ARVO 2018: Dr. Stephen Daiger Reports on the State of Genetic Testing for Inherited Retinal Diseases

After presenting a poster on a new mutation in the RP gene KIF3B at the ARVO meeting in Honolulu, FFB-funded geneticist Dr. Stephen Daiger discusses the progress that’s been made in genetic testing for people with inherited retinal conditions.

ARVO 2018: Dr. Steve Rose Reports on CRISPR/Cas9 for Inherited Retinal Diseases

FFB’s own Dr. Steve Rose, chief scientific officer, reviews our commitment to funding and exploring CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing for inherited retinal disease in the video below.

FFB currently funds CRISPR/Cas9 projects at four institutions:

  • Johns Hopkins University (retinitis pigmentosa caused by the P23H mutation in RHO)
  • Columbia University (RP caused by the D190N mutation in RHO)
  • Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (RP caused by a mutation in RP1)
  • UCLA (Usher syndrome 1B caused by a mutation in MYO7A)

Want to learn more about the benefits of CRISPR/Cas9? Check out: A Cut-and-Paste Approach to Fixing Retinal-Disease Genes