hidden
hidden

Stem Cell Eye 'Patch' to Save Sight Gets Cash Boost

Trials to use a small patch of stem cells to protects the eye from age-related blindness could begin in patients within two years in the UK. The pioneering treatment could be one of the first successful applications originating from embryonic stem cells (ESC), the cells in embryos that can grow into all tissues of the body. In a major boost for the stem cell treatment today, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that it would be funding clinical development of the treatment and helping to win permission from regulatory authorities to proceed with trials. Pfizer is collaborating with Pete Coffey, head of the team at University College London that pioneered the stem cell therapy. Coffey and his team have found a way to change the ESCs into retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells, which are vital for sight but deteriorate with age, leading to blindness.

Trials to use a small patch of stem cells to protects the eye from age-related blindness could begin in patients within two years in the UK. The pioneering treatment could be one of the first successful applications originating from embryonic stem cells (ESC), the cells in embryos that can grow into all tissues of the body. In a major boost for the stem cell treatment today, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that it would be funding clinical development of the treatment and helping to win permission from regulatory authorities to proceed with trials. Pfizer is collaborating with Pete Coffey, head of the team at University College London that pioneered the stem cell therapy. Coffey and his team have found a way to change the ESCs into retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells, which are vital for sight but deteriorate with age, leading to blindness.

View Full Story