In the latest breakthrough research, a group of scientists has formed a new gene therapy called voretigene neparvovec that may help patients who have lost their sight to an inherited retinal disease.
As per the recent data, as many as 8.8 million people in India were found to be blind in 2015 and another 47.7 million had moderate and severe vision impairment.
Worldwide, there are an estimated 36 million people who are blind and this is set to grow to almost 115 million people by 2050. Scientists have developed a new genetic treatment voretigene neparvovec (Luxturna, Spark Therapeutics), involves a genetically modified version of a harmless virus.
Under the study, data from the first randomized, controlled, phase revealed that 27 of 29 treated patients (93 percent) experienced meaningful improvements in their vision and after that, they could navigate a maze in low to moderate light.
However, treatment does not help in restore normal vision, it allows patients to see shapes and light.
However, it is not revealed yet how long the treatment will last, but so far vision of many people lasts for two years.
Currently, there is no treatment to cure inherited retinal diseases and this new gene therapy is under review by the US Food and Drug Administration.
The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.