Regenerative Ophthalmology

Regenerative Ophthalmology

Posted under Eye Conditions, Eye Health, Low Vision Info, The Eye

Ocata Therapeutics, formerly known as Advanced Cell Technology, is conducting a study for the treatment of dry macular degeneration (AMD) at several sites in the United States. The company concentrates their efforts in a new field of treatment, called regenerative medicine. “At the very core of our regenerative ophthalmology efforts is the notion that we can change the course of degenerative eye disease by identifying which cell types are compromised or lost due to disease, and replacing those missing cells with the same cell generated from a stem cell source.” Instead of treating symptoms their goal is to rejuvenate, replace and even regenerate damaged retinal tissue.

Regenerative Ophthalmology
One of their current studies is for the treatment of dry AMD. It is a Phase I/II study “to Determine the Safety and Tolerability of Sub-retinal Transplantation of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Derived Retinal Pigmented Epithelial (MA09-hRPE) Cells in Patients With Advanced Dry AMD.” Patients receive the stem cells via a single injection into the eye. There will be 5 cohorts or groups of patients – each group receiving a different amount of MA09-hRPE cells transplanted

Three AMD patients will receive 50,000 MA09-hRPE cells transplanted
Three AMD patients will receive 100,000 MA09-hRPE cells transplanted
Four Better Vision AMD patients will receive 100,000 MA09-hRPE cells transplanted
Three AMD patients will receive 150,000 MA09-hRPE cells transplanted
Three AMD patients will receive 200,000 MA09-hRPE cells transplanted

The first group of patients will be followed for 6 weeks and evaluated by an independent Data Safety and Monitoring Board before proceeding with the next group of patients. Patients will remain in the study for 12 months.

At the time of this writing, February 2015, they are recruiting a small number of participants. This is a partial list of the criteria one must meet to be eligible.
Male or Female adults 55 years or older
Be in reasonably good health with the expectation of living at least 4 years after treatment
Diagnosed with advanced dry AMD
Have clinical signs of Geographic Atrophy
Cannot have wet AMD in the treated eye

Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA School of Medicine in Los Angeles, CA
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, FL
Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia, PA
Mass Eye and Ear in Boston, MA

The injected cells used in this clinical trial are the same cells they are intended to replace. Once injected, they will seek out the areas of degeneration and according to Ocata, “replace the missing native cells and regenerative the structure of the eye and restore its function.” Study results when published will report on the safety of the procedure, the success of the engraftments, and any vision changes. For more detailed info on this type of research visit:

Stem Cell Research for Macular Degeneration

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN