A new drug developed by Australian and New Zealand researchers, who claim that it can prevent blindness among cataract patients, will now be tested on humans after animal testing showed that it slowed down the progression of the disease so much that it eliminates the need of surgery.
The drug has been developed by researchers at University of Adelaide and University of Canterbury. The drug works by inhibiting a protein known as calpain which was found to play an important role in the growth of cataracts by major lens protein called crystallins.
"By using the drug early, you could slow their (cataract) development so much it would not actually develop. We believe we can delay the need for surgery for a number of years to the point where people may never need surgery", lead researcher Professor Andrew Abell said.