Posts By: Dr. Mary Sunderland

First gene therapy for a blinding eye disease receives FDA approval

December 19th, 2017 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

Today we are celebrating the FDA’s pathbreaking approval of Luxturna. We have been following the development of Luxturna closely. Today’s landmark FDA approval makes Luxturna the first gene therapy approved in the US that targets a disease caused by mutations in a specific gene. The next steps involve determining the price for Luxturna, which poses…

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Top 10 Things We Learned at Vision Quest 2017

November 7th, 2017 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

Vision Quest is the FFB’s educational program series that brings trusted information about emerging sight-saving treatments to people living with vision loss. This year, Vision Quest brought together more than 860 people at 9 different events across Canada. The entire FFB staff participates in Vision Quest because it gives us the opportunity to learn directly…

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FDA Panel Votes Unanimously to Approve New Gene Therapy

October 13th, 2017 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

History was made on World Sight Day, October 12, 2017, when an FDA advisory panel voted unanimously to approve a new gene therapy, Luxturna, designed to treat inherited blinding eye diseases caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene. We have been following this story closely over the past few years and celebrating every milestone along…

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Gene Therapy Improves Vision in Landmark Clinical Trial

July 14th, 2017 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

Yesterday, a landmark publication in The Lancet, a prestigious journal, showed that gene therapy can improve vision in people living with a rare blinding eye disease. The study examined the effects of an experimental gene therapy – voretigene neparvovec – to treat an inherited blinding eye disease caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene. RPE65…

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4 Big Predictions for Vision Research in 2017

January 10th, 2017 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

Last year was full of remarkable developments in vision science. Important discoveries in stem cell biology filled in key knowledge gaps, while advancements in gene therapy moved optogenetics from the realm of science fiction to reality (check out our top 10 discoveries from 2016). Here are four key developments to look forward to in 2017….

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New Gene-editing Tool Restores Partial Vision in Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

November 18th, 2016 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

At the beginning of 2016, I predicted CRISPR would be one of the key areas to follow throughout the year. I was right! This week delivered another CRISPR-fueled breakthrough that is making headlines. Scientists have created a new gene-editing tool that can be used in conjunction with CRISPR to edit adult cells in live animals…

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Will You Develop Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration? Your MicroRNA May Hold The Answer

April 5th, 2016 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

Caption: FFB-funded scientist, Dr. Mike Sapieha (7th from the left) along with his laboratory group at the Hôpital Maisonneuve Rosemont. Will you develop the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? Right now, doctors don’t have a way to answer this question. Thanks to a new discovery by Foundation Fighting Blindness-funded researchers, a predictive test…

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Blue Light Does Not Cause Vision Loss… But Consider a Screen Vacation

March 1st, 2016 by Dr. Mary Sunderland

Blue light is a hot topic. Reports about blue light are popping up in the news and at various vision conferences. Like many of you, I spend my waking hours bathed in blue light. It’s hard to avoid because we are constantly surrounded by screens – computer screens, tablets, smartphones – they are everywhere, all…

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