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Synthetic 9-cis beta Carotene for treatment of retinal degeneration

Neuroretinal degeneration including age related macular degeneration (AMD) and Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) are the leading cause of vision incapacitation and blindness worldwide. Over 30 million people are affected, mostly elderly. Retinal degeneration can result from genetic defects affecting either the photoreceptors themselves or associated cells such as the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). In recent clinical studies, we demonstrated that oral treatment with the 9-cis β-carotene -rich Dunaliella Bardawil algae significantly improved visual function in patients with neuroretinal degeneration. In addition, the algae extract improved retinal function and protected the retinal photoreceptors from degeneration in a mouse model of the disease. In the last decade the algea 9-cis β-carotene content was extremely low due to environmental conditions. Hence clinical trials with the algea could not be pursued, stressing the need for manufacturing synthetic 9-cis β-carotene that will be readily available for treatment and enable tight control of drug dosage.


Currently, there are no effective treatments for majority of these progressive degeneration diseases. With the fast aging of the world population, percent of affected individuals is expected to increase sharply. Hence there is an urgent need to develop an efficient treatment for these degenerative diseases.


A novel practical cost-effective synthetic route for 9-cis-beta carotene was developed. In organotypic cultures of retina from mice, the synthetic 9-cis-beta carotene rescued photoreceptors from degeneration. These studies suggest that synthetic 9-cis-beta-carotene is biologically active and may possibly be an effective treatment for retinal dystrophies. 

Synthetic 9-cis-beta carotene formulated as a high purity drug


• High material purity
• Cost effective
• Ability to produce in high scale
• Ability to reach high concentrations
• Material Stability and storage properties


Provisional patent filed regarding the proprietary synthetic route of synthetic 9-cis β-carotene