May 2015 – START THERAPY – In December 2013, The Vision for Tomorrow Foundation proudly announced the funding of the first clinical trial based on START Therapy. Following some initial delays, the researchers leading the trial along with PTC Therapeutics confirmed at The Association for Research and Vision in Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting this week that the human clinical study would begin later this year. The proof-of-concept study will take place in the United States and Canada. This is the first-ever pharmaceutical approach for patients with aniridia caused by a PAX6 nonsense mutation. The initial study was developed Dr. Cheryl Gregory-Evans, PhD and Dr. Kevin Gregory Gregory-Evans MD PhD at the University of British Columbia for the potential prevention and reversal of aniridia-related congenital eye malformations. Read more here.
June 2014 – ‘Clinical Translation of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Trophic Factors for the Corneal Disease in Aniridia’, Ali Djalilian, MD. Cornea health is often compromised over time in patients with aniridia due to limbal stem cell deficiencies. In this study Dr. Djalilian is exploring the use of a mesenchymal stem cell drop to improve the environment, or niche, in which the limbal stem cells live. By taking factors that cells in the niche normally produce and introducing them to the niche in the eye with aniridia, we hope to maintain or improve the limbal stem cell function, thus preserving the state of the cornea. The goal is to provide an alternate and less invasive treatment option to preserve corneal health in aniridia patients To read more about this study and Dr. Djalilian, click here.
October 2014 – ‘The Role of DHA in Nystagmus’, Joost Felius, PhD. What if dietary fatty acids had an effect on the severity of nystagmus in children? With support from The Vision for Tomorrow Foundation, this study focuses on the role of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, which conceivably may reduce the severity of nystagmus. In the first phase of this study, DHA levels are being measured and compared to the nystagmus severity.
“Correction of Albinism Mutations by Targeted Genomic Rearrangement” – Principal Investigator: Murray Brilliant, PhD, Professor in Genetics, University of Arizona
“Search for new Genes Causing Albinism in Israeli Populations” – Principal Investigator: Irene Anteby, M.D., Director, Center for Pediatric Ophthalmology, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem
“Assessment of a Novel Treatment for Albinism” – Principal Investigator: Brian S. McKay, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Arizona
“Correction of Albinism Mutations by Targeted Genomic Rearrangement: Phase II” – Principal Investigator: Murray Brilliant, PhD, Professor in Genetics, University of Arizona
“Genes Controlling the Uncrossed Projection of Retinal Ganglion Cells in Pigmented and Albino Mice” – Principal Investigator: Carol Mason, PhD, Professor Department of Pathology and Cellular Biology, Columbia University
“Design and Fabrication of a Wide Angle 3x Array Telescope” – Principal Investigator: Milton Katz, OD, Professor, State University of New York
“Use of Providone-Iodine in treatment of Trachoma, a Leading Cause of Infectious Blindness” – Principal Investigator: Sherwin Isenberg, M.D., Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA
“Assessing the Role of the PAX6 Gene in Aniridia” – Principal Investigator: James D. Lauderdale, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Cellular Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Georgia
“Assessment of a Novel Treatment for Albinism: Phase II” – Principal Investigator: Brian S. McKay, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Arizona
“Support of Optic Program at Cincinnati Eye Institute” – Principal Investigator: Edward Holland, M.D
“Clinical Trial to Evaluate Levodopa as Treatment to Improve Vision in Individuals with Albinism” – Principal Investigators: Carol G. Summers, M.D., University of Minnesota and Murray Brilliant, PhD, Director of Human Genetics, Marshfield Clinic, Wisconsin
“Assessing Foveal Anatomy in Albinism and Aniridia Using High Resolution Retinal Imaging” – Principal Investigator: Joseph Carroll, PhD, The Medical College of Wisconsin