Potential RP Treatment Based on Ancient Chinese Medicine
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is working toward launching a clinical trial in 2011 of a vision-preserving agent known as TUDCA. Based on a traditional Chinese medicine, TUDCA is a synthetically manufactured bile acid that has demonstrated safety and efficacy in animal models of retinal degeneration. Foundation-funded animal studies are taking place at the Oregon Health & Science University to determine optimal TUDCA dosing for humans.
The TUDCA clinical trial would likely take place in the Foundation’s National Eye Evaluation and Research Network and include people with both recessive and dominant forms of retinitis pigmentosa. Researchers note that TUDCA may also benefit people with other retinal degenerative diseases, but more studies are needed to determine who might benefit from the agent.