Navigation Links
CA$2.4 million toward gene therapy for human degenerative retinal diseases
Date:12/3/2008

This release is available in French.

Montreal, December 3rd, 2008 A Canadian and American research group including the team of Dr. Robert Koenekoop from the Research Institute at the Montreal Children's Hospital of the MUHC has just been awarded $2.4 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Foundation Fighting Blindness Canada (FFB). This five-year grant will fund an ambitious research project to develop innovative gene therapies for a number of human degenerative retinal diseases.

A multidisciplinary and complementary team

The complementary skills of the five research teams involved will provide the multidisciplinarity required for success in this research project. The project will be led by Dr. Robert Molday, a cell biologist from the University of British Columbia. The team's other experts in gene therapy are Dr. Jim Hu from the University of Toronto, and Dr. Bill Hauswirth from the University of Florida. Dr. Marinko Sarunic of Simon Fraser University will be responsible for the retinal imaging component of the project.

As the team's clinician-scientist, Dr. Robert Koenekoop will oversee the visual function testing and the gene analyses, first in animals and then in humans with a variety of retinal degenerations. After several years of testing in animals, human patients will be injected with the "new healthy gene" that aims to partially restore vision.

Innovative gene therapies

"We hope to begin a human gene-therapy trial in Canada within five years for three specific degenerative retinal diseases: Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), Stargardt macular dystrophy and retinitis pigmentosa," Dr. Koenekoop explained. "Previous attempts with the gene named RPE65 have been highly conclusive for LCA: we believe that we can learn from that and advance even more quickly this time. It's very motivating!"

RPE65 mutations are one cause of Leber Congenital Amaurosis. Three independent research teams have very recently shown that injecting a healthy version of that gene to young adults can partially restore their vision.

The CIHR's Regenerative Medicine and Nanomedicine Initiative

Nine projects were awarded grants through the CIHR program entitled "Regenerative Medicine and Nanomedicine Emerging Team Grants July 2008." All of these projects hold great hope for medical applications in the fields of nanotechnology, stem cells, tissue engineering and rehabilitative sciences.

To receive the grant, the team had to show a multidisciplinary commitment to addressing problems in regenerative medicine. The long-term goal of this program is to develop innovative treatments that are scientifically based and socially validated.

Dr. Robert Koenekoop is the Director of the Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology and the McGill Ocular Genetics Laboratory at the Montreal Children's Hospital of the MUHC. He is a researcher in medical genetics and genomics with the Research Institute at the Montreal Children's Hospital of the MUHC. Dr. Koenekoop is an Associate Professor in Human Genetics and Ophthalmology in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. His research is also funded by the Foundation Fighting Blindness Canada and the Fonds de la recherche en sant du Qubec (FRSQ).


'/>"/>

Contact: Isabelle Kling
isabelle.kling@muhc.mcgill.ca
514-843-1560
McGill University Health Centre
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. NewCardio Restructures 2007 Financing, Receives $2.8 Million Additional Cash and Improves Capital Structure
2. Southern Research Wins $37 Million Black & Veatch Sub-Contract for Biological Threat Reduction Program
3. VirtualScopics Backlog Rises to a Record $27 Million
4. Holiday Season Brings New Hope to Millions Who Suffer from Common Chronic Health Disorder
5. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Awards Grants to Nine Communities In Launch of $44 Million National Program to Reverse Childhood Obesity
6. Sutter Health Invests Hundreds of Millions in Employee Pension
7. Red Cross Asks America to Help Raise $30 Million in 30 Days
8. Condell Health Network and Medical Center to Pay $36 Million Settlement After Self-Reporting Possible Health-Care Fraud
9. In Recognition of WORLD AIDS DAY, Charlotte Bobcats Power Forward, Emeka Okafor, Launches Mobile Texting Campaign in Support of the One Million African Lives Initiative
10. QLT to repurchase up to US$ 50 million of common shares - Modified "Dutch Auction" tender offer to commence on or about December 4, 2008
11. ProstateCradle.com Launches the First “External Prostate Massager” by Enviromax, a Sensational Way to Help Millions of Men Have Healthier Prostate Glands
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to ... , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there ... my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that ... chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent ... special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, ... and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their ... to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils ... an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic ... 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... publication Haute Living, is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a ... that “the most beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome men, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... MEMS Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data ... analysis. Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the ... analysis of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , ... Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  Guerbet announced today that it has been named ... . One of 12 suppliers to receive ... support of Premier members through exceptional local customer service ... to lower costs. ... outstanding customer service from Premier," says Massimo Carrara ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: