RetroSense Therapeutics LLC is developing a gene therapy that is designed to restore vision in blind retinitis pigmentosa patients. The company is sidestepping the primary affected cells in the disease - photoreceptors - and instead is introducing a light-activated protein to a layer of light-insensitive neurons that sit downstream.

Retinitis pigmentosa is a blanket term for a group of genetic disorders that lead to dystrophy and eventual loss of photoreceptors, resulting in blindness. Vitamin A can slow progression, but there is no treatment once the photoreceptors are lost.