Mass. Eye and Ear is Additional Site for Clinical Trial for Dry AMD Using Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived RPE Cells
Contact: Mary Leach
MARLBOROUGH, Mass.-(May 2, 2012) - Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (“ACT”; OTCBB: ACTC), a leader in the field of regenerative medicine, announced today that Massachusetts Eye and Ear (“Mass. Eye and Ear”) has received institutional review board (IRB) approval to be a site for the company's Phase I/II clinical trial for dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD), using human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells.
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, ACT's chairman and CEO. “Dr. Dean Eliott (shown left) 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. The primary teaching hospital for ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, Mass. Eye and Ear is ranked as among the top ophthalmology hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report and has a reputation that is unrivaled.”
The Phase I/II 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 will ultimately 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,” commented Dean Eliott, M.D., a full time retina 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.”
Further information about patient eligibility for the dry AMD study is available at www.clinicaltrials.gov; ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01344993.
About Dry AMD
Degenerative diseases of the retina are among the most common causes of untreatable blindness in the world. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 60 in the United States, and the vast majority of cases of AMD are of the “dry” form, which is currently untreatable.
About hESC-derived RPE Cells
The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a highly specialized tissue located between the choroid and the neural retina. RPE cells support, protect and provide nutrition for the light-sensitive photoreceptors. Human embryonic stem cells differentiate into any cell type, including RPE cells, and have a similar expression of RPE-specific genes compared to human RPE cells and demonstrate the full transition from the hESC state.
About Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc., is a biotechnology company applying cellular technology in the field of regenerative medicine. For more information, visit www.advancedcell.com.
About Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. Mass. Eye and Ear is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. In June 2010, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Schepens Eye Research Institute united to form the world’s largest and most robust private basic and clinical ophthalmology research enterprise.. For more information, visit www.MassEyeAndEar.org.