Stemedica Cell Technologies Announces Breakthrough Discovery in Use of Stem Cells for Treating Retinal Degeneration

July 1, 2009

Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc. has announced a significant breakthrough in the use of human stem cells and stem cell factors for the potential treatment of retinal degenerations and the retinal pigment epithelium. The research was conducted by an international consortium of renowned researchers and clinicians who explored the application of Stemedica’s proprietary lines of stem cells and stem cell factors for treatment in a pre-clinical environment.

The 18 month pre-clinical study was implemented at the Fyodorov Eye Institute. Three different types of human stem cells (hSC) were used in the study – retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), neural (NSC) and cilliary body (CB) – all obtained from human donor tissue. The research team compared the efficacy of each of the three cell types.

The study showed a statistically significant gain (77%) in the eye treated with RPE cells over the control eye of the same animal. However, both the treated eye and the control eye were approximately 10 times more active (response to ERG) compared to the non-treated control animal. The researchers also found that the RPE and NSC cells were effective in preserving the thickness of the outer nuclear layer of the retina. A contra lateral effect was observed between the test and control eyes as well. As a result, both eyes exhibited significant improvement.

It is thought that the positive outcome in the control eye was achieved through the systemic release of substances and molecules from stem cells transplanted into the treated eye. This phenomenon is referred to by Stemedica as “The Factor Release Effect” and branded by the company as StemedicaFRE™.

Read the release.




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5 Responses to “Stemedica Cell Technologies Announces Breakthrough Discovery in Use of Stem Cells for Treating Retinal Degeneration”

  • prashant kadam

    my 4 year daughter loss complete vision of both eyes after cataract operation of both eyes. doctors diagnosed CRAO in both eyes. Is stem cell treatment is useful for recovery of vision?.please help me. doctors told us there is no any treatment for CRAO. please guide.

  • ari

    once the retina dies from crao, it cannot be restored. we are very far away from restoring dead nervous tissue. hopefully, in the next couple of generations, stem cells will help. the great focus now is on the spinal cord, not the retina, but any research there will be applicable.

  • Elise Leval

    Will someone please start a blog of the possibility of reversing blindness caused by CRAO (Central Retinal Artery Occlusion)? Is this subject too sensitive for discussion, and /or have researchers given up? Are CRAO victims condemned to a liftime of blindness?

  • Greetings everyone,
    Nice work with the RPE cells. I can’t see RPE cells logically being the answer since they must be taken from a source, UNLESS of course, you can multiply them in large quantities for recipients. Then of course, they may be well suited for the job.. The result seems good in thickening the retina, however, is the thickness a stable thickness which will prevent CNV? I sent Xcell a mail about this in Germany, and have had no reply although I’ve contacted them several times within 6 months. The reason I say this, is because they treated an AMD patient, which they advertise on their site and show a photograph with scarring decreases after treatment. however, they mentioned nothing on improvements in acuity, which is what most people would be looking for. From a marketing standpoint, any improvement would have been world news, so I guess the lack of response, answers my query..
    From a clinical perspective, strengthening the RPE and retina in general, is beneficial in terms of preventing advancement of MD, etc., for that condition and others. I would be interested if anyone could keep me updated,and of course, I will do the same.
    I have this sneaking suspicion that, for successful retinal treatment with stem cells, the patient will have to undergo multiple treatments, involving doses per unit time. The reason is, even in utero, the process is a slow framework building style, with hormone inducement for differentation and specialization of progenitor cells. This will probably be the same in the patient undergoing treatment, UNLESS, they can harvest the retina under sterile lab conditions and then transplant. I have a feeling, both ways will evolve and for different degrees of damage suffered by the patient in regards to their condition..
    In any event, “hats off” to those of you trying to progress this research.. I used to do a little recombinant dna work before I became a doc, and it is an exciting area, I wish I was in now… I have some inducement ideas for stem cells, but it’s a grey area..
    Oh well, maybe someday I’ll have my own laboratory, on my own island, with my own laws. Until then, the way forward is to humanely conduct controlled stem cell trials.. THE KEY IS TO KEEP TREATMENT COSTS DOWN SINCE THE PATIENT HAS TO PAY AT THIS POINT IN TIME. If costs are kept to a minimum, then patients can undergo multiple stem cell implants, which may be the way forward… Qoote me on that, if you will and God bless all..
    Dr Ken James

  • According to my contact within the company, this study was done with just stem cells. A combination study, using a laser to impact the retina and/or RPE cells, followed by application of stem cells will be started shortly.

    For more on Stemedica and what they are doing, please see my writeup on AMD therapies: AMD Update 5: Emerging Technologies for Treating AMD


    Irv Arons