The top 10 medical disruptors of 2018


3. Gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases


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Gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases is expected to receive a number of FDA approvals in 2018, if not late 2017. Currently, there are no known treatments for the rare diseases, but the growing research of specific genetic etiology may soon restore vision loss in patients.

Recombinant AAV2 vector encoding a functional copy of the RPE65 gene is expected to receive FDA approval in the next year to treat retinal diseases that are caused by biallelic RPE65 mutations.

According to Dr. Aleksandra Rachitskaya of the Cleveland Clinic’s Cole Eye Institute, the gene therapy won’t cure blindness completely, but will instead preserve the vision that is already there. However, there are currently retinal implants out there that help cure blindness and researchers are using stem cell therapies to combat retinal diseases. She also said that a new methodology called optogenetics, which involved modifying cells to function as other cells, could bring new hope to treating the diseases.

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How do you know your technology is disruptive enough to break conventional wisdom?

textadimage Stan Rowe knows a little something about bringing disruptive technology to market. The current Edwards Lifesciences CSO was in on the ground floor of two of medtech's most disruptive treatments, stents and transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

On December 12th, Rowe will sit down with MassDevice editor Brad Perriello for a long ranging discussion about the inside story on how these technologies came to market and what Rowe learned along the way.

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  1. Very promising disruptions in Healthcare. Will be interested as an incubator to closely track the development of ideas of healthcare startups.

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