Patients have started receiving a life-changing new gene therapy that can restore eyesight as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.
The treatment, which is for child and adults with voretigene neparvovec, is the first in a new generation of gene therapies that can be directly administered to patients.
Given as an injection, many patients in the trials recovered their night time vision with this treatment.
The first patient in the UK to receive this treatment has been from the Moorfields Eye Hospital.
The patient, Jake Ternent, had no night time vision. His daylight vision has been deteriorating since childhood and he is now blind.
“After participating in 15 years of research I now have the golden opportunity to be the first person in the UK to have this treatment on the NHS. I am hopeful that this procedure will not only improve my own quality of life but that it will be able to help others with my condition too,” Ternent said.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, called the new form of treatment a “modern day miracle.”
“Loss of vision can have devastating effects, particularly for children and young people, but this truly life-changing treatment offers hope to people with this rare and distressing condition,” Powis said.
“Once again, the NHS is at the forefront of the genomic revolution with patients in England among the first to benefit from this new form of treatment – a modern day miracle – as part of the Long Term Plan.”