March 22, 2018
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First gene therapy procedure for inherited retinal disease performed

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A clinician-scientist from Massachusetts Eye and Ear performed the first Luxturna gene therapy treatment since its FDA approval in December, the institution announced in a press release.

The procedure was performed on March 20 on a 13-year-old New Jersey boy by Jason Comander, MD, PhD, the release said.

Developed by Spark Therapeutics, Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl) improves visual function in individuals with inherited retinal disease caused by mutations in the RPE65 gene. The procedure includes injecting a modified virus into the eye to correct a deficiency caused by the mutations.

“It is an honor to be involved in this exciting procedure following FDA approval and to play a role in allowing a 13-year-old boy an opportunity to enjoy improved vision for years to come,” Comander, associate director of the inherited retinal disorders service at Mass. Eye and Ear, said in the release. “I am so excited the time has come when we can offer this groundbreaking therapy to our patients, who are truly in need of our help.”