Gene Therapy Restores Vision at Scheie Eye

Nov 25, 2014 | Uncategorized

We’re always proud of our customers, but even prouder when we read their names in the news. Longtime Bell partner, Penn Medicine’s Scheie Eye Institute, recently made headlines for its groundbreaking research in using gene therapy to treat rare eye diseases.

How does it work? Take patients with Leber’s Congential Amaurosis (LCA), for example. Born visually impaired, they can sense light and see large objects, but not much else – and it worsens with age.

With gene therapy, researchers replace disease-causing genes with newer-working models.

“We’re basically taking advantage of viruses. What they do best is they deliver genes or nucleic acids to the target cells,” said Dr. Jean Bennett, lead researcher. “But instead of using a virus which is found in the wild we’ve basically taken one which has never been shown to cause any disease and neutered it by removing its guts and replacing its guts with the gene of interest.”

Learn more at Penn Medicine.