UCL Institute of Ophthalmology
- Current clinical trials of gene and cell therapy for sight loss
- Gene and cell therapies for inherited sight loss
- Gene and cell therapies for age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- Gene therapy for diabetic eye disease
- Gene therapy for uveitis
- Gene therapy for corneal disease
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EyeTherapy Blog News
UCL researchers solve a major riddle of retinal degeneration research!
Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:11:36 +0000
Today a paper published in Nature Communications from the Gene and Cell Therapy Group at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology has shed light on why, until now, it has not been possible to effectively restore vision in rd1 mice – the world’s major model for retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The rd1 mouse is a model of […]Read more...
Professor Ali honoured for his contribution to research into retinal disease
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 12:27:36 +0000
Professor Robin Ali, PhD, Professor of Human Molecular Genetics and Head of the Department of Genetics, UCL Institute of Opthalmology has been awarded the Pioneer Award for his work in proof-of-concept studies that have demonstrated the feasibility of using gene therapy and cell transplantation to treat dysfunction and degeneration of the cells […]Read more...
Achromatopsia might not be as progressive as previously thought
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 11:17:16 +0000
A recent publication from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital, and the Medical College of Wisconsin indicates that for the majority of people with achromatopsia, the condition may not be as progressive as previously suggested. Data from this study by Aboshiha et al. demonstrated that for the majority of people with achromatopsia (a […]Read more...
Gene therapies for diabetic eye disease
Diabetes harms the retina and is a leading cause of severe sight impairment. Find out about how you can support our work and help develop effective therapies.
Current treatments for diabetic eye disease can help some people to some extent but do not work reliably and have harmful side effects. We aim to develop new treatments that can protect the circulation in the retina and promote the healthy function of its nerves. We are working to understand the ways that diabetes can harm the retina and to develop new treatments, including gene and cell therapies.
Diabetic eye disease shares many features with AMD, with the growth of abnormal and leaky blood vessels common to both. Current treatments are not effective for all patients and have significant side effects, which means developing gene delivery to control the growth of abnormal and leaky blood vessels is an attractive option (Bainbridge et al 2003).
We are also investigating the role of oxygen in diabetic eye disease (Lange et al 2011), as disturbances to the delivery and usage of oxygen caused by diabetes are an important factor in the damaging growth of new blood vessels. We have shown that a molecule that helps regulate how cells respond to a lack of oxygen, known as HIF-1, plays a crucial role in the growth of abnormal and leaky blood vessels (Mowat et al 2010). Together these results show the important role that the control of oxygen levels in the retina plays in diabetic eye disease as well as in AMD and may help identify new drug targets.
We have shown proof-of-concept that gene delivery of the sFlt1 gene can reduce the growth of abnormal blood vessels in a diabetes disease model (Bainbridge et al 2002). A clinical trial of AAV-sFlt1 delivery is now being carried out by a group in Australia
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