Mass. Eye and Ear joins AMD trial

May 10, 2012

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has received institutional review board approval to be a site for Advanced Cell Technology’s phase I/II clinical trial for nonexudative (dry) age-related macular degeneration (AMD), using human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells.

Marlborough, MA-Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has received institutional review board approval to be a site for Advanced Cell Technology’s phase I/II clinical trial for nonexudative (dry) age-related macular degeneration (AMD), using human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells.

The trial is a prospective, open-label study designed to determine the safety and tolerability of the hESC-derived RPE cells following sub-retinal transplantation into patients with dry AMD. The trial ultimately will enroll 12 patients, with cohorts of three patients each in an ascending dosage format.

“Dry AMD represents one of the largest unmet medical needs in ophthalmology,” said Dean Eliott, MD, a retinal surgeon, scientist, and associate director of the Retina Service at Mass. Eye and Ear. “We appreciate the opportunity to get some first-hand experience with the protocol and be involved with the international team that has been assembled around the U.S. and European trials.”

“We are delighted to announce that Mass. Eye and Ear will participate as a site for our clinical trial for dry AMD,” said Gary Rabin, Advanced Cell Technology’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Dr. Eliott and his team are deeply committed to finding new treatments for preventing blindness, and we very much look forward to tapping into his expertise and insight into the progression of macular degenerative disorders.”

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