Could a gene therapy be developed for “colour blindness?”

gene therapy for colour blindnessAvalanche Biotechnologies has an exclusive license agreement with the University of Washington (UW) to develop products based on Avalanche’s proprietary Ocular BioFactory™ Platform for the treatment of colour vision deficiency (CVD), commonly known as red-green colour blindness. On the same day, Avalanche also announced that Drs. Jay and Maureen Neitz, faculty in the UW’s Department of Ophthalmology and CVD experts, have joined its Scientific Advisory Board.

Cure for colour vision deficiencyCVD is among the most common genetic diseases, affecting approximately 5 to 8 percent of males and 0.5 percent of females. Affected individuals most commonly have trouble distinguishing between red and green and between colours that contain red or green hues. The most common forms of CVD are due to genetic defects that lead to missing either long wavelengths (red) or middle wavelengths (green).

Avalanche will build on gene therapy research conducted by the Neitz research team at the UW. Avalanche has two drugs targeting these areas. AVA-322 carries the gene for L-opsin and AVA-323 carries the gene for M-opsin.

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Image 1: “Ishihara 9″ by Unknown – Unknown. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
Image 2: Wikimedia commons

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