Posts By: FFB Canada

Fine-tuning Optogenetic Treatments to Create More Useful Vision

December 16th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Optogenetics is an important new science that may have sight-restoring capacities for people living with retinal blindness. Optogenetics uses light-sensitive molecules derived from algae, called channel rhodopsins, to give light-sensing capacity to nerve cells. Retinal degenerative diseases usually attack and eventually destroy the rod and cone photoreceptors, but often these and other retinal cells remain…

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Argus II Retinal Prosthesis Named Invention of the Year

December 14th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Popular Science has named the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis its invention of the year. Each year, the editors of this science magazine review thousands of products in search of the top innovations of the year— technologies that represent a significant leap in their categories. The Argus II took the top honor in the Health category,…

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Youth Space Spotlight: Cathy

November 30th, 2013 by FFB Canada

1. Can you share with us what retinal eye disease you have and when you were diagnosed? When I was 15, I was diagnosed with cataracts. I woke up one morning with persistent blurry vision. My mother immediately brought me to my optometrist, who made the diagnosis. Several complications accompanied my cataracts, including numerous retinal…

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Creating An Orphan Drug Policy for Canada

November 18th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Last fall, the federal Minister of Health announced that Canada would “introduce a new approach that will better support the development and authorization of drugs for rare diseases.” Commonly called an orphan drug plan, such regulations encourage drug manufacturers to test therapies for rare diseases like retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt disease and choroideremia, and to seek…

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Eyelea Approved to Treat Wet AMD in Canada

November 8th, 2013 by FFB Canada

An additional treatment option for people with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) will soon be available in Canada. Health Canada has just approved Eyelea, a drug made and marketed by Bayer Inc. Eyelea (also known as aflibercept) is used to treat the most severe form of AMD known as wet AMD. The drug is given…

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Ocular Gene Therapy Centre Established at U of A

October 9th, 2013 by FFB Canada

A $5 million grant from Alberta’s provincial health funder is establishing a Canadian Centre of Excellence for ocular gene therapy research. Drs. Ian MacDonald and Tania Bubela at the University of Alberta are leading a team of researchers, clinicians, and academics who will work together as the Alberta Ocular Gene Therapy Team.  Their team will…

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Drug for Dry AMD Looks Promising in Early Trials

September 16th, 2013 by FFB Canada

A new drug being developed by Roche Pharmaceuticals may slow vision loss due to dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD). Dry AMD causes the slow death of vision cells in the retina. It is the most common, early form of age-related macular degeneration. In people with dry AMD, the retina begins to thin and –…

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Celebrating Milestones: Glen & Rita

September 15th, 2013 by FFB Canada

In 1973, Glen and Rita Popowich moved to Calgary with their infant son, Paul, to start their own business: Crosstown Heating & Ventilating Ltd. In the early years they rented a fabrication shop and did all estimating and accounting at home. Forty years later, their business, doing commercial HVAC work, now employs some third generation…

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New Partnership Aims to Identify Drugs Useful to Delay RP

September 12th, 2013 by FFB Canada

The Foundation Fighting Blindness is partnering with the the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to fund early studies of a potential drug treatment for retinitis pigmentosa. The studies, led by Dr. Uri Saragovi at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, are searching for drug compounds that would slow vision loss due to retinitis pigmentosa…

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Transplant Retinal Cells Gathered from a Person’s Own Body to Begin Testing in Japan

August 26th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Scientists in Japan have received approval to launch a clinical trial of a cell-transplantation therapy for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The source of cells for this therapy will be a unique type of stem cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), which can be created from the recipient’s own skin cells. Targets of Retinal…

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