4 September 2019

Gene therapy for rare eye disease set to be offered on NHS

Our Clinical Adviser comments on the BBC story about gene therapy to treat inherited retinal dystrophies.

The BBC recently published an article (4 September 2019) announcing the draft NICE guidance’s recommendation of therapy voretigene neparvovec (Luxturna) to treat inherited retinal dystrophies. With an estimate of an initial 90 people eligible for the treatment in England, this breakthrough therapy could help individuals with a disease that has otherwise gone untreated in the UK.

We asked our Clinical Adviser, Daniel Hardiman-McCartney FCOptom, for his thoughts on this breakthrough treatment: “We welcome the news and funding agreement of this innovative therapy, according to NICE the treatment may become available as soon as January 2020. Reducing visual impairment in children with this rare inherited retinal dystrophy is a significant step forward and encouraging for everyone who supports people effected by sight loss.”

Related further reading

Here we summarise three research papers from a recent issue of Optometry in Practice.

New research has found links between the severity of visual impairment and the risk of dementia. Kathy Oxtoby asks: how can optometrists play a greater role in supporting patients with these conditions?

Here we summarise three research papers from a recent issue of Optometry in Practice.