In health headlines, two separate drugs provide hope to human eye conditions.
Researchers discovered a drug that helped some blind mice see. UC Berkeley Researchers were part of a team that studied mice born with a genetic mutation causing blindness. They found those they gave a drug to were able to temporarily restore “some” sight to them. With some diseases that cause blindness, the light sensitive cells in the retina die off. This drug, they call AAQ, when applied to the retina, harnesses other cells to jump into action and do the job.
“We’ve been very excited,” said Richard Kramer, Ph.D., UC Berkeley Researcher, “We could restore some level of visual function for up to 24 hours, usually less than 24 hours but the new compounds that we developed can restore function for many days up to two weeks at a time.”
It remains to be seen how the chemical will work in humans.
Also, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommends Lucentis eye drug for treatment of Diabetic Macular Edema or DME. The committee of outside experts recommended the 0.3 and 0.5 milligram doses of the drug after reviewing clinical data. However, some panel members express concern over evidence linking higher doses of the drug to some serious side effects.
Agency regulators will now consider the panel’s recommendations in deciding whether to approve the drug for DMA. Lucentis is made by Roche Unit Genentech. It is administered by monthly injection and is already approved for two other eye ailments.
Further research is needed for both drugs.
We will keep you updated as results are available.
Reporting on Health Matters, I’m Jessica Solis.