Retinal gene therapy has shown great promise in treating retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a primary photoreceptor degeneration that leads to severe sight loss in young people. In the present study, we report the first-in-human phase 1/2, dose-escalation clinical trial for X-linked RP caused by mutations in the RP GTPase regulator (RPGR) gene in 18 patients over up to 6 months of follow-up (https://clinicaltrials.gov/: NCT03116113). The primary outcome of the study was safety, and secondary outcomes included visual acuity, microperimetry and central retinal thickness. Apart from steroid-responsive subretinal inflammation in patients at the higher doses, there were no notable safety concerns after subretinal delivery of an adeno-associated viral vector encoding codon-optimized human RPGR (AAV8-coRPGR), meeting the pre-specified primary endpoint. Visual field improvements beginning at 1 month and maintained to the last point of follow-up were observed in six patients.