Advanced Cell Technology, OHSU Researchers Show Safety, Efficacy of Human Embryonic Stem Cell (hESC)-Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE)
June 25, 2009
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. and researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have reported the long-term safety and efficacy of human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. These cells are considered suitable for human trials and were tested in different in vitro and animal models.
The studies were performed in the RCS rat, an animal in which the vision deteriorates due to an RPE functional defect. After 3 months, the treated retina had 5-6 layers of photoreceptors while the untreated animals only had a single layer of cells left. The researchers also showed that vision could be rescued in a mouse model of Stargardt’s disease.
Two important early applications for these cells will be for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt’s disease.
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