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Researchers have started a new gene therapy clinical trial to treat X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP), the most common cause of blindness in young people.

New trial for blindness rewrites the genetic code

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Retinitis pigmentosa is currently untreatable and leads to a slow and irreversible loss of vision.

The trial is being run by Nightstarx Ltd (Nightstar), a biopharmaceutical spinout company of Oxford developing gene therapies for inherited retinal diseases, and researchers from the University of Oxford. On 16 March 2017, a 29 year old British man became the first patient with X-linked retinitis pigmentosa to undergo gene therapy. The operation took place at the Oxford Eye Hospital, part of the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

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