On Thursday 10/03/1441 H, a medical team form KKESH has performed the first surgery in the Middle East for a Saudi female patient (34-year-old) suffering from severe poor vision caused by inherited retinal disease in both eyes using gene therapy.
The medical team has stated that the patient had undergone retina surgery in left eye through which it has been used gene therapy directly beneath the retina. This medicine is supposed to fix and improve the vision. Luxturna injection allows patient to move freely in his/her immediate place.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the first country in the Medial East and Asia among limited number of American and European states to use this medicine. This revolutionary new treatment is considered to be a global shift in using gene therapy.
Dr. Abdulaziz AlRajhi, Chief Executive Officer of KKESH, has stated that this revolutionary new gene therapy is as a result of medical and administrative staff efforts over several months. There was a constant follow-up form H.E. Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabiah to overcome all obstacles in order to obtain this medicine in the hospital. The SFDA and NUPCO support and assistance have played a vital role in obtaining this medicine in record time.
Today morning, the surgery has been performed for the first time in the Middle East in KKESH. KKESH is considered one of the outstanding medical center globally. It has a long research history and experiences internationally accredited. It has been provided the first gene therapy in the Kingdom from the period Sep 2011 to June 2012 to 6 patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa (night blindness) through gene injection and they were followed up. After that, It has been approved the safety of this injection with no side effects.
It is the first approved gene therapy to be used in US and European Union.
Luxturna works by delivering a normal copy of the RPE65 gene directly to retinal cells, which then produce the normal protein that converts light to an electrical signal in the retina to restore vision loss.
Rapid Luxturna response varies form one patient to another as some patients need on average 3 months to achieve the best result.