NAC Attacks Retinitis Pigmentosa
Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a condition caused by many different genetic defects. The common thread is that each of the genetic defects kill “rod” photoreceptors in the retina — which make up 95 percent of the retina’s light sensitive cells — leaving the other 5 percent, the “cones,” virtually untouched. Oxidative stress is a promising area of research being investigated to preserve cone vision.
Cone Photoreceptors are vital for fine focus vision such as reading, writing and face recognition. A major contributor to cone damage and death is oxidative stress. There is no cure and not a single drug on the market offering hope, but Peter Campochiaro, M.D., Wilmer’s George S. and Dolores D. Eccles Professor of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience are building on their success of a phase 2 trial, Fight RP, to investigate the effect of N acetylcysteine — NAC for short — that reduces oxidative stress and showed some short term protection for cones.
They will soon launch a phase 3 trial, NAC Attack, to determine if long-term treatment can prevent cones from dying and prevent progressive loss of visual field. This is expected to require four years of testing. NAC is already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating another condition, and this will accelerate the approval process, as the drug is already shown to be safe. See full article: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/articles/nac-attacks-retinitis-pigmentosa.
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