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First Gene Therapy Clinical Trial to Address Genetic Blindness

March 11, 2020 / Samantha McGrail

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) held the first-ever gene therapy clinical trial, BRILLIANCE, to address blindness-causing gene mutation, LCA10, according to a recent press release The clinical trial, sponsored by Allergan plc and Editas Medicine, is one of 14 different clinical trials investigating new genetic treatments for ophthalmic conditions and nearly 50 vision-related clinical trials. The procedure uses gene-editing tool CRISPR to edit human genes, also known as in vivo gene editing. Previously, gene-editing methods have edited genetic material after it was removed from the human body. Being able to edit genes inside the human body is incredibly profound,” said Mark Pennesi, MD, PhD, the Kenneth C. Swan, associate professor of ophthalmology in the OHDU School of Medicine and chief of the OSHU Casey Eye Institute’s Paul H. Casey Ophthalmic Genetics Division.