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Oct 16, 2014

Regenerative Medicine Milestone: Stem Cell Clinical Trial Announces Positive Results

Robert Lanza

Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), an early leader in the field of regenerative medicine, recently published data in The Lancet that shows positive results from its ongoing stem cell transplantation trial. The clinical trial uses ACT’s proprietary retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPE), derived from stem cells, to treat Stargardt’s disease and dry age-related macular degeneration. Published on October 14, 2014, these latest results mark an important milestone in the field of stem cell transplantation because they show transplanted stem cells long-term ability to safely survive and integrate.

The study’s co-senior author, Robert Lanza, is also the Chief Scientific Officer of ACT and a renowned stem-cell champion. Selected as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people, Dr. Lanza draws attention to the eye as a site of stem cell innovation. The eye is an attractive spot for regenerative medicine pioneers because it is “immune privileged,” which means that it does not reject foreign transplanted tissue. In this video Dr. Lanza describes the exciting results of the ongoing trial.

At Fighting Blindness Canada, the support of our donors allows us to fund ground-breaking stem cell research right here in Canada, including the work of Dr. Saeed Khalili at the University of Toronto, who is discovering how retinal stem cells (which have the potential to make every retinal cell type) can be directed to restore damaged retinal tissue. Dr. Stéphanie Proulx at the Université de Laval, is focused on a complementary project. By developing an artificial network of blood vessels that can be attached to transplanted cells, Dr. Proulx’s research has the potential to significantly improve the survival rate of transplanted cells. Thanks to our internationally renowned stem cell community, Canadian researchers stand to lead the way in transplantation therapy. These latest results from the ACT trial are helping to pave the way for future sight-saving innovations.

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