Manchester Royal Eye Hospital administers its first gene therapy treatment

Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH) achieves a historical milestone, as it delivers gene therapy at this hospital for the first time. The hospital is trialling gene therapy, in collaboration with Saint Mary’s and the NIHR Manchester Clinical Research Facility, for patients with a rare genetic eye condition, x-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP).

XLRP, for which there is currently no effective treatment, is one of the most common causes of blindness in young people.

The surgeon leading the trial in Manchester is Professor Paulo Stanga at MREH, University of Manchester and Manchester Vision Regeneration (MVR) Lab at NIHR Manchester Clinical Research Facility. Professor Stanga said:

Gene therapy is an exciting and new area that could potentially offer a cure across a number of disease areas. We’re delighted to be able to offer our patients the opportunity to participate in this trial for this new treatment for X-linked retinitis pigmentosa. This is a devastating condition for which there’s currently no effective treatment.

Professor Graeme Black, Consultant in Genetics and Ophthalmology, University of Manchester/Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust adds:

Manchester is a leading centre for the diagnosis and treatment of inherited genetic eye diseases. The co-location of Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and Saint Mary’s Hospital, which is home to the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine means we have a cohort of patients who could potentially benefit from this new treatment.

Read the full news article on the CMFT Research & Innovation website.

Professor Graeme Black awarded OBE

The Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine’s Strategic Director, Professor Graeme Black, was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Also a Professor in Genetics and Ophthalmology at The University of Manchester, he has played an integral role in developing Manchester’s position as a leader in the field of inherited ophthalmic disease since joining in 1995.

Read a more about Professor Graeme Black’s OBE on the Royal College of Ophthalmologists website

£600K grant for congenital heart disease research

An early, success of the year-old DGEMBE genomic medicine collaboration, between Manchester and Cape Town universities, is the award of a £600K grant for combined work on congenital heart disease.

DGEMBE’s (Developing GEnomic Medicine BEtween Africa and the UK) principal aim is to develop a partnership between the two universities in rare disease research.

Leading the three-year initiative for The University of Manchester (UoM) are Professor Bernard Keavney, BHF Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Academic Lead for MAHSC Cardiovascular Domain, and Professor Graeme Black, Director of the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine.

Read more about the collaboration between Manchester and Cape Town universities on the MAHSC website.