Dompe Pharmaceuticals, an Italian biopharmaceutical company based in L’Aquila, Italy, have announced the initiation of a 24-week, double-blind, vehicle-controlled, Phase Ib/II clinical study to evaluate the application of rhNGF (recombinant human Nerve Growth Factor) eye drops in patients with retinitis pigmentosa. The same rhNGF product is simultaneously in a Phase I/II “REPARO” trial to treat neurotrophic keratitis, a progressive degenerative disease of the cornea that may result in blindness. The REPARO trial is being conducted among 158 patients in 39 centres across the EU. Dompe has received Orphan Drug designation in the U.S. and EU for retinitis pigmentosa and expects to conduct the RP study in several Italian centres, including Florence, Milan, Rome and Naples. The first of an estimated 50 patients was enrolled in the Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Careggi, Florence.