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Drug That Blocks Blood Pressure Protein Protected Mice from Developing Glaucoma

March 8, 2011

First of Many Glaucoma Genes Identified by Cluster Search Method

Findings: BrightFocus-supported researchers from The Jackson Laboratory have used a new cluster method to identify genes that have activity changes during the early stages of glaucoma. One of these changes to a blood pressure protein called endothelin 2 can be blocked by the FDA-approved drug, Bosentan. This drug is already used to treat pulmonary hypertension and chronic heart failure in humans. It now appears to protect mice from developing visible damage to their retina due to glaucoma.

Relevance: If proven effective in further laboratory and human clinical testing, this new Bosentan treatment could potentially prevent eye damage and vision loss due to glaucoma. The other early-stage glaucoma gene changes identified by these researchers will be made available to the worldwide scientific community through a new database.

On behalf of our donors, National Glaucoma Research—a program of the BrightFocus Foundation—salutes grantees Drs. Gareth Howell and Simon John for this important work.

Co-authors Drs. Jeffrey Marchant and Ben Barres are former BrightFocus grantees. Dr. Abbot Clark serves as a scientific advisor to BrightFocus.

 

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