Stem Cell Research at Duke Med

March 8, 2018

The following is from Phil Rego & Lauren Tappen.

Early findings by Duke University ophthalmology researcher Dennis Rickman and others indicate that stem cells indeed restore damaged retinas.

“The cells migrate to the area of injury, and in many cases appear to integrate into the tissue and differentiate into those cells,” Rickman said.

But it will take a lot more research before those findings can yield therapy.


Protect yourself against vision loss

May 30, 2017

This article is from Phil Rego:

Using stem cells to regenerate healthy cells in disease-damaged eyes is the holy grail for researchers. This is especially true for incurable conditions that damage the retina, the layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye.

Earlier this year, a Japanese man became the first person to receive retinal stem cells created from donated skin cells to stop his macular degeneration from getting worse.

And scientists at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles report promising results from transplanting stem cells from embryonic cells into patients who had been blind for decades from AMD and another disease. A study in 2014 reported that 10 of the 18 patients who received the cells experienced significantly improved vision.

For more info:

Japan to begin transplants using donor iPS cells

June 12, 2016

This news is from Lauren Tappan:

Four Japanese institutions will collaborate on transplanting tissue grown from induced pluripotent stem cells taken from donors into patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration, a hard-to-cure eye disease.

The initiative, announced Monday, will break new ground in that the cost of transplanting iPS-derived tissue will be significantly reduced by using stocked cells provided by donors, instead of using the patients’ own cells as in a previous case involving a sufferer of the same disease.

Under the partnership agreed on May 30, Kyoto University will provide iPS cells resistant to immunological rejection in the treatment and the government-affiliated Riken research institute will grow them into retinal cells. Osaka University and the Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital will implant these cells into patients as early as the first half of 2017.

The cost is approx. $1 million.

Dry (Atrophic) Macular Degeneration – Drug Pipeline Review

August 22, 2015


– The report provides a snapshot of the global therapeutic landscape of Dry (Atrophic) Macular Degeneration
– The report reviews key pipeline products under drug profile section which includes, product description, MoA and R&D brief, licensing and collaboration details & other developmental activities
– The report reviews key players involved in the therapeutics development for Dry (Atrophic) Macular Degeneration and enlists all their major and minor projects
– The report summarizes all the dormant and discontinued pipeline projects
– A review of the Dry (Atrophic) Macular Degeneration products under development by companies and universities/research institutes based on information derived from company and industry-specific sources
– Pipeline products coverage based on various stages of development ranging from pre-registration till discovery and undisclosed stages
– A detailed assessment of monotherapy and combination therapy pipeline projects
– Coverage of the Dry (Atrophic) Macular Degeneration pipeline on the basis of target, MoA, route of administration and molecule type
– Latest news and deals relating related to pipeline products

For More Latest Reports Under the Same Category –

Marlborough Company Looks to Regrow Cells in the Eye

August 22, 2015

Instead of treating symptoms of macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness, a Marlborough company is looking to figure out how to regrow eye cells that cause it.

The Boston Business Journal reports that Ocata is starting patient trials within the next month and a half to repeat the results of a smaller trial that “attracted worldwide attention last year.”

In the trial, Ocata’s stem cells were used in eye cells of 18 patients with macular degeneration, and it helped improve vision in 10 of the patients.

For more info:

The Uncertainty of Stem Cell Treatments

June 5, 2015

For almost a decade, stem cell treatment has held out hope as a treatment for macular degeneration. Hope, but not FDA approved certainty.

Popular Science magazine has just written an article titled ARE NEW STEM CELL THERAPIES MIRACLES IN A BOTTLE–OR JUST A DANGEROUS FORM OF SNAKE OIL?

Their review is mixed and full of unknowns. Some wonderful successes and some failures. Leigh Turner, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Bioethics, finds the various SVF therapies dubious. “No one has proved they’re safe or effective,” he says. “People are paying a lot of money for these treatments without any assurances.”

After 7 years of chronic back pain, the author was”cured” after a single treatment. But he still worries about recurrence. When you sign up to be a guinea pig, nothing is certain, and only time will tell.

For more info:

Stem cell therapy success for macular degeneration

October 18, 2014

The study (pdf) represents the first evidence for the long-term safety of the pioneering therapy, which restored some vision to more than half of the patients who took part in the trial.

There had been concerns that the cells could be rejected by the body’s immune system or become overactive and grow into tumours. But after following the patients for up to three years, researchers said the treatment appeared to be safe.

The trial focused on 18 patients with two different types of macular degeneration (9 with Stargardt’s, 9 with dry AMD ). The diseases have no effective treatments and are among the leading causes of blindness in adults and children in the developed world.

Effectiveness is yet to be proven.

For more info: