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Fovea Pharmaceuticals Receives Orphan Drug Designation from EC for RdCVF for the Treatment of Retinitis Pigmentosa
Date:1/7/2008

ves towards irreversible blindness. Classically in affected people, the retinal rod photoreceptors responsible for night vision and side vision slowly degenerate, first leading to night blindness. As the disorder progresses, the cone photoreceptors degenerate also and their loss is responsible of a narrowing of the peripheral field of vision which progressively worsens to become "tunnel-like". During the last phase of the disease, the central vision can decrease until the patient becomes blind.

RP usually appears in teenagers and young adults but may sometimes be present from early childhood and generally progresses over several decades. However, in extreme cases the disease may evolve rapidly over two decades. In the European Community, 150 000 patients are affected by this disorder.

RP is a genetic disorder. The inheritance pattern is variable and can be either autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive or X-linked recessive. Most genes for RP cause only a small proportion of cases, exceptions being the rhodopsin gene, which leads to about 25% of dominant RP. Overall, approximately 40% of cases of RP are due to genes that are as yet undiscovered.

About RdCVF

RdCVF (Rod derived Cone Viability Factor) is a protein that is produced by the rods and is necessary for the functionality and the survival of the cones. RdCVF was first identified by Pr. Jos Sahel's team at INSERM U592. The original work was published in Nature Genetics in 2004.

In RP, preventing cone cell death is a very promising therapeutic approach as vision can remain substantial in patients with 95% cone loss. This offers greater hope for a positive outcome from a strategy aimed at preserving the remaining cones in RP patients and simultaneously broadens the window for therapeutic intervention.

About FOVEA Pharmaceuticals

Fovea Pharmaceuticals SA (Fovea) is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company specialized in development and commercialization of drugs f
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SOURCE Fovea Pharmaceuticals SA
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