After much hope and controversy, for the first time stem cells have proven to have the ability to cure blindness.
The news comes from a study on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) of the retina, the most common cause of blindness in individuals over the age of 50.
The Sunday Times reports that the treatment was developed by a group of British researchers, who say that in the next six to seven years the treatment will become a routine operation, which will not last more than an hour.
The treatment involves the replacement of a layer of degenerated cells with new cells created
StemCells Inc. today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the initiation of a Phase I/II clinical trial of the Company’s proprietary HuCNS-SC® product candidate (purified human neural stem cells) in dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common form of AMD. AMD is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people over 55 years of age, and approximately 30 million people worldwide are afflicted with the disease. There are no approved treatments for dry AMD.
“With the approval of this trial, we have accomplished something truly unique in the stem cell field, which
CHA Bundang Medical Center has become the first in Asia (the second in the world) to confirm that the transplantation of human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells is effective in treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and Stargardt disease (juvenile macular degeneration) without causing dangerous side effects. Hence CHA Bundang Medical Center is now on the fast track to developing the world’s first hESC-based therapeutic product.
A Korean research team, led by Professor Song Won-Kyung from CHA Bundang Medical Center, and CHA Biotech (a leading S. Korea-based biotechnology firm focused on stem cell therapies) jointly issued an