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Monday, April 28, 2008

There May Be Hope For Stevie and Andrea Bocelli after all! Gene Therapy Might Cure Blindness!

This just in, courtesy of the Seattle Times:

Gene therapy may aid blind

Dr. Albert Maguire, his wife, Dr. Jean Bennett, and other researchers are working on gene therapy to improve sight in virtually blind patients.

For the first time, researchers have used gene therapy to improve vision in patients who were virtually blind, offering new hope to hundreds of thousands with inherited forms of vision impairment.

The research, some of which involves Seattle biotech Targeted Genetics, marks a major milestone for gene therapy, a discipline many scientists find promising but that so far has failed to produce a marketable product in the U.S.

It also casts a positive light on the Seattle company, a gene-therapy research firm that was shaken last July by the death of an Illinois woman enrolled in its lead drug candidate's clinical trial. Federal investigators eventually determined gene therapy was not the culprit and allowed the trial to resume.

Although the six patients studied have an extremely rare form of blindness called Leber's congenital amaurosis, researchers believe the approach ultimately could be used for a broader spectrum of disorders, including retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.

For more of the above article, click here.

And then of course, Andrea can groove too.

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