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A Tufts University School of Medicine study of non-viral gene therapy has shown promise in potentially delaying degenerative eye disorders, according to a news release from the university. The study has led to a partnership between the Tufts researchers and Boston startup Hemera Biosciences Inc. to draw venture capital funding and progress the therapy toward Phase 1 clinical trials.

The study demonstrated that when delivered by a gene therapy approach, the CD59 protein, protectin, lowered the number of cells dying and blood vessels growing – typical signs of age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, which can lead to blindness in the elderly.

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