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"Here, we provide a summary of these emerging data and a discussion of technical concerns specific to AAV-mediated reprogramming experiments that must be addressed in order for the field to move forward."

"Existing retinal prostheses require silicon or metal implants that are comparatively thick and completely rigid, a combination that the sensitive retinal tissue does not like at all...So instead, ...their group is investigating a different kind of retinal prosthesis made from semiconductive polymers, a class of carbon-based plastics that can conduct electricity in much the same way that silicon microchips do...Because semiconductive polymers bend and flex like natural tissues, Lanzani says, “they are biocompatible.” In tests in the lab and in animals, the polymer retina seems to coexist with them quite happily, with no adverse reactions at all."

"Our initial field of focus is retinitis pigmentosa; we are following encouraging Phase I results with a controlled, 15-patient clinical trial, expected to be complete by the end of 2020."

"With advances in cellular reprogramming technology, it could be possible to regenerate lost photoreceptors in the eye – bringing hope of a potential future treatment for retinitis pigmentosa."

"A team from the Vision Institute (L’Institut de la Vision) demonstrated that an artificial retina, an implant placed at the level of the retina that receives an image directly from the photosensitive cells, would induce high-resolution visual perception. Their results have paved the way for clinical trials for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration and possibly retinitis pigmentosa."

"Oral NAC is safe and well-tolerated in patients with moderately advanced RP and may improve suboptimally functioning macular cones. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial is needed to determine if oral NAC can provide long term stabilization and/or improvement in visual function in patients with RP."

SparingVision is developing SPVN06, a breakthrough treatment of Retinitis Pigmentosa, an orphan, blinding inherited retinal disease leads to blindness and affects nearly 2 million worldwide. SPVN06 is a gene therapy-based approach, independent of mutated genes. By a single subretinal injection, SPVN06 stops and prevents the degeneration of cones photoreceptors leading to blindness.

The German biotech ViGeneron has raised an undisclosed sum in a Series A round to fund the development of an ophthalmic gene therapy that could deliver bigger DNA sequences into a wider range of cells than current technology.

High-throughput synthetic biology approach reveals hidden AAV features and could help fast-track future gene therapies

"In an extraordinary medical trial, six blind people have now had their vision partially restored thanks to Orion, a new device that feeds images from a camera directly into the brain — and they may just be the first of many to benefit from the cutting-edge tech."

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