Progress towards developing a gene therapy for glaucoma

Researchers have demonstrated that gene therapy can decrease intraocular pressure in pre-clinical models of glaucoma

Unsplash/Warren Umoh

Scientists from Trinity College Dublin have shown that gene therapy is capable of lowering intraocular pressure in mouse and monkey models of glaucoma.

Describing their findings in Science Advances, researchers highlighted that a single injection of a viral vector can increase the flow of aqueous fluid from the front of the eye – resulting in a decrease in pressure.

Alongside animal models of glaucoma, the approach was tested in human donor eyes.

Professor Matthew Campbell, of Trinity College Dublin, highlighted the value of collaborating with biotechnology company Exhaura Ltd for the project.

“This exciting project allowed us to bridge the gap between academia and industry and work very closely with a gene therapy company to develop a cutting edge therapy that we believe holds immense promise for patients in the future,” he said.

Lead author, Dr Jeffrey O’Callaghan, highlighted that the new approach to treating glaucoma using gene therapy is the culmination of seven years of research.

“We are now hopeful that this therapy will pave the way to the development of treatments for other forms of blinding eye diseases,” he said.