Newly Discovered Drug Could Prevent, Cure Congenital Blindness Caused By Genetic Disorder FEVR

First Posted: Sep 17, 2016 05:00 AM EDT

A newly discovered drug showed promising findings in curing progressive vision loss and preventing blindness to unborn babies.

 According to Eye Wiki, familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) is a hereditary genetic mutation which prevents the development of capillaries around the retina causing a progressive loss of vision or even blindness at birth.  This genetic disorder is known to cause a significant portion of congenital blindness. But thanks to the efforts of researchers from Dalhousie Medical School, we might see a bright future against blindness at birth.

In a report by Medical Xpress, Dr. Chris Master, one of the researchers and professor at the Department of Pharmacology at DMS, confirms the promising findings from their animal trials. " We've got what we think is a very good drug. It can cure animal models. Now we have to figure out the right dose and ensure its safety before administering it to kids." 

The said drug rehabilitates the formation of blood capillaries around the retina. The drug research was funded through research grant award by Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. The fund covered all analysis and tests for the efficiency of the FEVR drug until it is approved for clinical use.

Dr. Robitaille said that he met siblings, Nick and Mathew Gentleman, who both suffer in a progressive vision loss caused by FEVR during their early childhood. Nick said in an interview,

"Matthew and I are very excited about this awesome news. Dr. Robitaille has been my main doctor for life. I couldn't ask for better. Every time I would have an eye appointment, my parents would ask Dr. Robitaille, 'Is any research being done in FEVR?' Every time should have to say, 'Sadly, no.

"She can put a smile on her face," Nick added.

Dr. McMaster and Dr. Robitaille will further the research to the clinical trial stage within the next four years. Hopefully, the findings will remain consistent up to FDA's approval. It the trials would go well, we could expect the drug in the shelves of pharmaceutical drugstores in the next few years.

The full research was published at Genetics Home Reference of the US National Library of Medicine

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