October 18, 2011

Heather Elspeth Moss Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmolgy Department of Ophthalmology and Visual ScienceNewly Diagnosed Patients Sought for Unique Study

Heather Moss, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, is conducting the first-ever human clinical trials for patients recently diagnosed with Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (NAION) at UIC’s Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary.

NAION is the most common cause of sudden, painless vision loss in older adults, with approximately 6,000 new cases in the U.S. every year. It can also affect the fellow eye, leaving patients legally blind. After glaucoma, NAION is the second most common optic nerve-related cause of permanent vision loss in adults. Currently, NAION has no proven effective therapy.

The experimental drug QPI-1007 may be neuroprotective and is being studied as a treatment for acute NAION by Quark Pharmaceuticals. The Phase I study at UIC is designed to evaluate the safety and potential effectiveness of QPI-1007 in patients who receive a single dose within 14 days of NAION symptom onset. All patients will receive the synthetic siRNA molecule (QPI-1007) and have regular follow-up visits for one year.

Physicians who have patients with NAION symptoms and are interested in learning more about this unique study should contact Anna Liza Castro-Malek, Study Research Coordinator, at 312-996-4747 or alcmalek@uic.edu.

by Margaret Doyle