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The gene therapy increases the ability of retina cells to make a soluble form of CD59, a protein that shields the retina from damage, to prevent additional damage and to preserve vision.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, announced on Dec. 2, 2020 that it has acquired US-based biotechnology company Hemera Biosciences’ investigational gene therapy, HMR59, for the preservation of vision in patients with geographic atrophy, a form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
According to a Janssen press release, the gene therapy works to increase the ability of retina cells to make a soluble form of CD59, a protein that shields the retina from damage, to prevent additional damage to the retina and to preserve vision.
“Geographic atrophy is a devastating form of AMD that impacts the ability to accomplish everyday tasks, such as reading, driving, cooking, or even seeing faces,” said James F. List, MD, PhD, global therapeutic area head, Cardiovascular and Metabolism, Janssen Research & Development, in the press release. “Our aim with this novel, single-administration gene therapy is to use our development expertise and deep heritage in vision care to help improve patient outcomes by intervening early, halting the progression to blindness, and preserving more years of sight.”