Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the Eye Institute

Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Currently Enrolling Study

Acucela SeaStar Study for Stargardt Disease

Purpose of study:
This project is being done to find out whether a new oral drug, emixustat hydrochloride, reduces the symptoms of Stargardt Disease, and whether it causes any problems (side effects) in patients with this condition.

What is Stargardt Disease?
Stargardt Disease is a rare genetic condition that causes gradual loss of central vision due to the accumulation of toxins in the retina. This buildup of toxins is caused by changes in certain genetic material (or genes) and results in the death of retinal cells over time. There are currently no approved treatments for Stargardt Disease.

What is involved?

The study will last about 2 years with 10 in-clinic study visits. Study visits will include some imaging of your eyes, a dilated eye exam, a vision test, as well as blood and/or urine tests.
Since we do not know what effect the study drug has on the symptoms of Stargardt Disease, participants will have a 2 in 3 chance of receiving the emixustat hydrochloride study drug and a 1 in 3 chance of receiving placebo (a pill that looks like the drug but does not contain any real medication).

Research volunteers will receive $50 for each study visit that is completed.

You may be eligible to participate in this study if you meet these criteria.

  • You have been told by a doctor that you have Stargardt Disease.
  • You meet the genetic criteria for the study (to be determined by your study doctor).
  • You have not participated in another oral medication study for Stargardt Disease within the last 6 months.
  • You are 16 years or older.
  • You are not pregnant.

More Information:

Contact Katie McKenney with questions. (414) 955-7866 or email

IRB Approval: PRO00033552, 5/14/19


Contact Ophthalmology

For patient care inquires, call us at (414) 955-2020 or use MyChart. Email is for research and education inquiries only.

Eye Institute Location

925 N. 87th St.

Milwaukee, WI 53226



(414) 955-2020

(414) 955-6166 (fax)


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Mary Schafer


(414) 955-7840


Medical Education Coordinator

Leslie Bencivenga


Refer to Us - Consultation requests

Physician Referral Form (PDF)

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Within 48 hours call

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Vesper Williams


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