Foundation News » Retinitis Pigmentosa
Emerging Treatment Provides Crucial Biochemical for Restoring Vision
People with certain forms of Leber congenital amaurosis and retinitis pigmentosa have new hope for vision restoration thanks to a treatment being developed by QLT, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company in Vancouver, Canada.
QLT recently launched a Phase I safety trial of the treatment in approximately 18 adults.
The treatment, taken orally, is a synthetic retinoid that is similar to a retinoid known as 11-cis-retinal. This retinoid is essential to the visual cycle — a complex chemical process in the retina that makes vision possible — and is missing in the retinas of people who have LCA caused by variations in RPE and LRAT genes. The retinoid is also absent in a small subset of people with retinitis pigmentosa.
The Foundation Fighting Blindness has funded numerous preclinical studies — including projects at the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Pennsylvania; and Case Western Reserve University — to better understand the visual cycle and the role of this missing retinoid in the visual cycle.
In spring 2008 at FFB’s San Francisco Dining in the Dark fundraising event, Bob Butchofsky, chief executive officer of QLT, received the Foundation’s Visionary Award for his numerous contributions to eye health and the vision community.
Recent Retinitis Pigmentosa Articles
- Bone Marrow Stem Cells in Clinical Trial for Retinal Diseases
- GenSight Receives $41.3 Million for Ocular Gene Therapy Development
- Stem Cell Pioneers Creating Retinal Patch to Restore Vision
- XLRS Natural History Study Beginning in Portland, Oregon
- Six Emerging Retinal Therapies Receive $3.1 Million in Foundation Funding