"Through a combination of cutting-edge research, trial and error and unrelenting determination, Dr. Chavala and his team have managed to convert ordinary human skin cells into functioning retinal cells by applying a proprietary chemical cocktail that serves as a reprogramming mechanism. And, at least in mouse models, they have been able to restore some sort of vision in completely blind mice."
"A gene therapy protects eye cells in mice with a rare disorder that causes vision loss, especially when used in combination with other gene therapies, shows a study published today in eLife. The findings suggest that this therapy, whether used alone or in combination with other gene therapies that boost eye health, may offer a new approach to preserving vision in people with retinitis pigmentosa or other conditions that cause vision loss."
"A plan to manufacture an artificial retina that mimics the functions of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye is taking things to the next level – 260 miles above Earth. LambdaVision, the Farmington, Connecticut-based biotech firm that developed the artificial retina, is exploring optimizing production of the artificial retina in space. In a series of missions to the International Space Station (ISS), the company will test whether microgravity on the station provides just the right conditions for constructing the multilayered protein-based artificial retina. "
"A team of researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne has developed a retinal implant that transposes images acquired by camera-equipped smart glasses into a simplified, black and white image made from 10,500 pixels. Although it has not been approved for human trial yet, the team has tested the implant in both a mouse model and a dedicated virtual reality programme, reporting the findings in Communications Materials."
"The PRP treatment has a favorable effect on visual functions in patients with RP. This approach is promising as it is safe and easy."
"Today Bionic Sight, LLC announced the preliminary results of their Phase I/II clinical trial. The first four patients that were administered BS01, Bionic Sight's investigational gene therapy for advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP), all reported the ability to detect light and motion. Two of the patients were also able to detect direction.
"The four subjects were reported to have either complete or near-complete blindness when the study was first started in March 2020."
We have researchers using prime editing to develop a gene therapy for Usher 1F.
CiRC Biosciences, Inc., a privately held cell therapy company, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation for chemically induced photoreceptor-like cells (CiPCs) for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). With an initial focus on retinal degenerative diseases, CiRC Biosciences is developing CiPCs as a potential therapy to treat RP, a genetic disorder affecting roughly 1 in 4,000 people. RP causes the breakdown of cells in the retina, impacting night and peripheral vision, often leading to blindness.
"EPFL researchers have developed a new type of retinal implant for people who have become blind due to the loss of photoreceptor cells in their retinas. The implant partially restores their visual field and can significantly improve their quality of life."
"Retinal dystrophies often lead to blindness. Developing therapeutic interventions to restore vision is therefore of paramount importance. Here we demonstrate the ability of pluripotent stem cell‐derived cone precursors to engraft and restore light responses in the Pde6brd1 mouse, an end‐stage photoreceptor degeneration model. Our data show that up to 1.5% of precursors integrate into the host retina, differentiate into cones, and engraft in close apposition to the host bipolar cells. Half of the transplanted mice exhibited visual behavior and of these 33% showed binocular light sensitivity. The majority of retinal ganglion cells exhibited contrast‐sensitive ON, OFF or ON‐OFF light responses and even motion sensitivity; however, quite a few exhibited unusual responses (eg, light‐induced suppression), presumably reflecting remodeling of the neural retina. Our data indicate that despite relatively low engraftment yield, pluripotent stem cell‐derived cone precursors can elicit light responsiveness even at advanced degeneration stages. Further work is needed to improve engraftment yield and counteract retinal remodeling to achieve useful clinical applications."