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

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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Message To My Younger Self: Victoria

July 12th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Paralympian & Cycle for Sight participant, Victoria Nolan, shares how she used sports to cope with losing her vision:

Canadian Scientists Show ‘Proof of Principle’ for LCA Gene Therapy

June 11th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Research led by Dr. Robert Molday at the University of British Columbia has shown that gene therapy designed to target the RD3 gene can protect light-sensing photoreceptors and restore visual function in mice. In humans, mutations in the RD3 gene interfere with the production of an essential protein in the eye and cause Leber congenital…

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Valproic Acid: The Perils of Using Drugs Off-Label

May 27th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Almost three years ago, scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School reported on a preliminary clinical trial of the epilepsy drug, valproic acid, as potential treatment for autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP). The trial was a brief four month snap-shot of the treatment of 7 people, but its findings were exciting. In five out…

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A Conversation with Yves Sauve about Vitamins & AMD

May 17th, 2013 by FFB Canada

A decade ago, AREDS (the Age-Related Eye Disease Study) showed that people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) who regularly took a high-dose formula of antioxidant vitamins could reduce their risk of developing advanced AMD by about 25%.  Taking AREDS vitamins works, but could it work better? That is the question that the AREDS2 trial aimed…

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Usher Syndrome Findings Focus on Genetic Knowledge & Ongoing Trial

May 9th, 2013 by FFB Canada

Two reports at ARVO may be of interest to people with Usher syndrome. The first focused on the largest ever study of the USH2A gene. The Genetics of USH2A We know that mutations in the USH2A gene are the commonest cause of both Usher syndrome and autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (RP), but until now scientists…

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