Breakthrough: Blind May Be Able to See Again

LONDON ~ Doctors in Britain have carried out an operation that is the first attempt to cure a sight disorder using gene therapy, they said.

Medics at the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London carried out the procedure on 23-year-old Robert Johnson, who was born with an inherited disorder that stops his retina detecting light properly.

His condition, which meant he could see only outlines of objects, was getting worse with age, but now it is hoped his sight will improve.

The operation saw surgeons injecting copies of the faulty RPE65 gene into the back of Johnson’s eye, a procedure that required pinpoint precision.

It was carried out following years of research involving the hospital and the Institute of Opthalmology at University College London.

“We have been developing gene therapy for eye disease for almost 15 years, but until now we have been evaluating the technology only in the laboratory,” lead researcher Professor Robin Ali said on Tuesday.

“Testing it for the first time in patients is very important and exciting and represents a huge step towards establishing gene therapy for the treatment of many different eye conditions.”

It is likely to be several months before full results of the trial are available.

Filed under: Headlines

Comments are closed.