Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Patent Allowance for Wayne State University Vision Restoration Research

Today, years of work on vision restoration therapy by researchers at Wayne State University and Salus University has been rewarded. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for patent application No. 12/299,574. A Notice of Allowance is issued to the applicant when the patent office finally approves an application. Once the Notice has been issued, the applicant has three months to pay an "issue fee," after which the patent will be issued.

The team, headed by  Dr. Zhuo-Hua Pan, Ph.D., has developed therapies that may offer relief to patients suffering from blindness caused by age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP), which have so far been incurable. AMD causes the macula, the light-sensitive tissue in the retina which allows you to see fine details, to break down. RP also affects the retina and causes such symptoms as tunnel vision and night blindness. Dr. Pan's therapy delivers a green algae photoreceptor gene, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) to the retina. The gene causes inner retinal neurons to become light sensitive, which restored light responses in the visual cortex of the brain. The team has targeted late 2013 to early 2014 for clinical trials. 

The patent will cover methods of vision restoration using the molecules ChR2 and Halorhodopsin and targeting the molecules with cell specific promoters.

**Dr. Pan is the professor of Ophthalmology and Anatomy/Cell Biology for the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and scientific director of the Ligon Research Center of Vision at the Kresge Eye Institute**

Visit http://www.retro-sense.com/development.html for updates on development.

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