Congratulations to Associate Professor Fred Chen and Vision Pharma

Associate Professor Fred Chen (far right) with the PYC team

We are delighted to share the fantastic news that Vision Pharma (a joint venture between the Lions Eye Institute and PYC Therapeutics) is the overall winner of the 2021 Western Australia Innovator of the Year Awards for its innovation ‘VP-001 to treat retinitis pigmentosa 11’.

Our very own Associate Professor Fred Chen has dedicated his career to solving the mystery behind inherited retinal diseases, the leading cause of youth blindness.

About inherited retinal diseases

Inherited retinal diseases (IRDs) are a broad group of genetic eye conditions causing severe vision loss and legal blindness. IRDs can commence at birth but are more commonly diagnosed in childhood. However, if left undiagnosed they may cause severe irreversible sight damage in adulthood.

It is estimated that one in 2,000 people are affected by an inherited retinal disease. This group of eye diseases includes retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome and Stargardt disease.

Developing innovative treatments to save sight

The Lions Eye Institute’s ocular tissue engineering laboratory group, led by Associate Professor Chen, uses cutting edge stem cell technology to develop personalised therapy for the treatment of patients suffering from IRDs. The work of Associate Professor Chen, and Vision Pharma, is crucial to save the sight of people like Matthew, who has retinitis pigmentosa. Currently, there are very few treatments for retinitis pigmentosa, and no cure.

Watch the video below to learn how the important work of Associate Professor Chen, co-inventor of VP-001, and Vision Pharma will impact the lives of people across the world.

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