Monday, 16 May 2011 18:59
Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) (OTCBB:ACTC) announced Monday that the Casey Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon, will be the site for an upcoming clincal trial testing its stem cell-based treatment for Stargardt's Macular Dystrophy (SMD), a degenerative eye disease seen in younger people.
SMD is the most common form of the degenerative disease of the retina. The disease is usually first diagnosed in children aged 10 to 20 years old, and causes progressive vision loss.
Eventually, blindness results from photoreceptor loss associated with degeneration in a layer of the retina, called the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).
Advanced Cell's treatment has the potential to supply an unlimited amount of healthy RPE cells, as the process involves the transplant of RPE cells derived from human stem cells.
In November 2010, the company recieved FDA approval to begin its first clinical trial in the US that tests the stem cell therapy in 12 patients with advanced Stargardt's.
ACT, a biotechnology company focused on applying cellular technology in the field of regenerative medicine, hopes that the trials will illuminate the roll that RPE cells can play in the treatment of SMD, said ACT CEO, Gary Rabin.
The phase I/II of the human clinical trial is designed to test the safety and the tolerance of RPE cells following their transplant into SMD patients, and is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks.
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