Gene Based Macular Degeneration Treatment Promising

A new gene based treatment for wet macular degeneration has showed promise after being administered to 18 patients as part of an ongoing study.

Developed by Oxford Biomedica, RetinoStat targets both wet macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Similar to other treatments, this new gene-based treatment aims at improving vision of patients by blocking the formation of new abnormal blood vessels typically associated with macular degeneration.

The new treatment uses a gene delivery technology called LentiVector. Two anti-angiogenic genes (endostatin and angiostatin) are delivered directly into the retina.

Research has shown that 1 month following the treatment, RetinoStat for macular degeneration was both safe and tolerable to the patients.
Researchers at the Wilmer Eye Institute, John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, will evaluate three dose levels to assess overall safety of the macular degeneration treatment. They will consider impact on visual acuity and ocular physiology with results of the study expected in early 2012.

According to initial results patients treated with RetinoStat had no serious adverse events to either the treatment or the delivery mechanism.
With this being some of the first gene-based treatments taking place for macular degeneration, there are hopes this may provide options to people affected with other eye diseases with limited or no treatment possibilities.