Potential Treatment of Corneal Vascularization

Type of Award: accelerator
Award Number: A-006
Award Period: December 2018 - November 2019
Amount Awarded: $ 100,000.00
PI(s): Tsutomu Kume, NU;

Abstract: The cornea is unique in our bodies in normally being devoid of blood vessels. Vascularization profoundly impairs vision and is a major cause of blindness in both the US and worldwide. Vascularization results from a diverse range of conditions, including corneal infections, a wide variety of injuries that include chemical burns and autoimmune conditions, as well as post-corneal transplantation. Currently, there are no effective treatments for corneal neovascularization. The goal of this proposal is to complete the development of a novel therapy for corneal neovascularization and transition it to a clinical trial. We developed a gene therapy approach for corneal neovascularization, using adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated overexpression of FOXC1, in two distinct murine models, and the preclinical studies using an animal model (rabbits) whose cornea is of comparable size to the human cornea may lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies for a common causes of vision loss and blindness.