Gene Therapy Demonstrates Potential in AMD

In a Tufts University School of Medicine study, gene therapy involving a protein called CD59 indicates potential in slowing down the signs of age-related macular degeneration. The study demonstrates this protein significantly reduces the uncontrolled blood vessel growth typical of AMD, the most common cause of visual impairment in the elderly.

Because CD59 is a relatively unstable protein, previous studies using it were unsuccessful. This gene therapy approach is effective when administered at a very specific location in the eye, constantly generating CD59. This particular treatment may be useful for both wet and dry forms of age-related macular degeneration.

Gene therapy approaches to treat AMD are particularly appealing because it allows for a safer and more convenient route of administration of treatment. Patients would need to be treated less often, reducing discomfort and lessening chances of infection and other potential problems associated with frequent injections into the eye.

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