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11/01/2011

Mayo Clinic working on glaucoma gene therapy... #RochMN

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News is reporting that Mayo Clinic has entered a legal agreement with Great Britain's Oxford BioMedica "to develop a gene therapy for treating chronic glaucoma."

"The partners will carry out preclinical work to test the feasibility of using a therapeutic based on Oxford BioMedica’s LentiVector® gene delivery system…for use in reducing intraocular pressure," the industry news group writes. "The collaboration builds on research by Mayo Clinic scientists that has demonsrated initial proof-of-concept for the gene therapy approach."

When a company gets exclusive rights to license Mayo technology, the income from those intellectual property rights has the potential to bring Mayo millions of dollars — in addition to improving quality-of-life for affected patients.

According to MayoClinic.com, glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause optic nerve damage and loss of vision.

"Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness," the clinic reports. "Sometimes called the silent thief of sight, glaucoma can damage your vision so gradually you may not notice any loss of vision until the disease is at an advanced stage."

That's why, the clinic notes, you should get your eyes checked regularly, with ocular pressure tested.

Pulse on Health
By Jeff Hansel, member Association of Health Care Journalists
Health Reporter for the PostBulletin.com, 18 1st Ave. S.E. in Rochester, Minnesota 55904 
Twitter Hansel's Pulse: @Jeff Hansel

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