ARTICLE | Targets & Mechanisms

Visum sees the light

January 26, 2012 8:00 AM UTC

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have identified 16 approved drugs that could help treat Stargardt's disease and dry age-related macular degeneration by preventing the toxic buildup of visual cycle byproducts.1 Visum Therapeutics Inc. has licensed the findings and has variants of the drugs in preclinical development.

The visual cycle is a metabolic process in the retina required for vision, but aberrant accumulation of toxic byproducts produced by the cycle can cause cellular damage. Stargardt's disease is a heritable genetic disorder of the visual cycle that affects about 1 in 10,000 people. Patients are highly susceptible to light and glare and develop severely impaired vision and blindness as they age...