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Gene therapy for uveitis

Uveitis is a leading cause of sight loss amongst those of working age. Find out about how you can support our work and help develop effective therapies.

Uveitis is a group of conditions in which the immune system attacks the body's own cells, leading to damaging inflammation and loss of sight. The eye's local immune system is normally tightly regulated by a balance of cells and molecules that prevent large-scale inflammation; caused by many different triggers depending on whether the front of the back of the eye is affected, uveitis results from a failure of this tight regulation. 

Uveitis can give rise to inflammation in the blood vessels serving the back of the eye (left), white spots known as keratic precipitates forming on the inner surface of the cornea (right), and many other forms of inflammatory damage to the eye

Uveitis is a common condition for which existing treatments have limitations - they are short-acting and are often systemically delivered, and chronic use can have significant side-effects. We are therefore developing longer-acting, locally-administered treatments based on viral gene therapy.

We have shown that delivering genes that help control the immune system locally in the eye can prevent the most damaging types of inflammation seen in models of uveitis, and are improving the effectiveness of gene therapy for uveitis through ongoing studies.

Page last modified on 03 dec 12 11:11