START SLO-RP TRIAL

    In Australia, a clinical trial phase 1/2 was started with financial support from the Foundation Fighting Blindness
    Nacuity Pharmaceuticals launched this trial under the name SLO-RP. The safety and effectiveness of the medicine NPI-001, an experimental antioxidant, will be tested in the coming two years. The medicine appears to be really promising for slowing down the deterioration of eyesight with people suffering from RP and Usher Syndrome, irrespective of which gene is defective or which mutations have taken place.

    START ATALUREN FOR TRIAL

    The medicine Ataluren (TranslarnaTM) binds itself to the “protein machine” and weakens the recognition of the stop signal and can “overwrite” this. This leads to the production of normal proteins over the full length


    Vaccinist / CC BY-SA

    REDUCE ER STRESS

    Westerfield and colleagues are busy testing various medicines against Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease in their zebrafish models for Usher Syndrome. Expectations are that this will slow down the deterioration of the hearing and eyesight of the zebrafish.

    BF844 MEDICINE FOR STABEL CLARINE1

    Dr Yoshikazu Imanishi of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland (Ohio, USA) is focusing on the development of therapy for Usher Syndrome 3A. One of the most frequent mutations in USH3A is the N48K mutation. Imanishi studies the clarin-1 protein with the N48K mutation in cultivated cells. This study demonstrated that the N48K mutation makes the clarin-1 protein unstable and this leads to the cell quickly destroying the clarin-1 protein again.

    ‘TRANSLATION READ-THROUGH’ THERAPY

    Many mutations causing Usher Syndrome are ‘nonsense mutations’. This means that the mutation prematurely stops the protein production process, a so-called ‘stop sign’. Nagel-Wolfrum studied read-through medicines (abbreviated by TRID = Translational Readthrough Inducing Drug), as a possible therapy for USH 1C. These ‘read-through’ medicines can make the protein production machine ignore the ‘stop sign’ and so make the machine produce the complete protein. TRID medicines have existed for some time already, but they often have adverse effects on the body.

    IMPROVED RELEASE OF NEUROTRANSMITTERS

    Alaa Koleilat studied three already existing and by the FDA approved medicines that can increase the release of neurotransmitters. Although the results with animal models are promising, these medicines cannot be administered to patients right away. As these medicines have been developed for other diseases, their effectiveness and safety in the ear are still unclear.