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Glaucoma Gene Therapy – a Life-Changing Alternative for 70 Million Patients

5 Facts About Glaucoma Gene Therapy

  • Open angle glaucoma is not caused by a specific genetic mutation. There is no gene that could be corrected

  • Open angle glaucoma gene therapy is currently in the research stage

  • There are two areas of research. First is focused on reducing intraocular pressure by modifying cells of the trabecular meshwork. Second area of research is focused on protecting retinal ganglion cells from degeneration

  • Eye gene therapy is already a reality. Luxturna, a gene therapy for Leber’s congenital amaurosis, is already being offered to patients

  • There is a promising glaucoma cell therapy that is currently going through the Phase 2 of clinical trials

A Closer Look Inside Glaucoma Eye

There is a continuous flow of fluid inside the eye.

The fluid, called aqueous humour, is produced by a structure called the ciliary body located behind the iris. The aqueous humour flows through the pupil into the anterior chamber, and then out of the eye through a drainage system called the trabecular meshwork.

Circulation of aqueous humour provides nutrients to the eye lens. Continuous creation and drainage of aqueous humour also maintains pressure inside the eye. When the trabecular meshwork gets obstructed and loses its drainage capacity, the pressure inside the eye starts building up. Over time elevated intraocular pressure starts damaging retinal ganglion cells located at the back of the eye.

The optic nerve that connects the eye with the brain is formed by projections of retinal ganglion cells. Death of retinal ganglion cells leads to optic nerve degeneration and the resulting blindness.

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