Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), a company involved in regenerative medicine, reports that the Casey Eye Institute (CEI) at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) has received institutional review board (IRB) approval to be a site for its phase I/II human clinical trial for Stargardt's Macular Dystrophy (SMD) using retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).
The phase I/II trial will be prospective, open-label study designed to determine the safety and tolerability of the RPE cells following sub-retinal transplantation into patients with SMD.
"We are pleased that OHSU's Casey Eye Institute has agreed to participate as a site for this study that should help us better understand the role that RPE cells can play in the treatment of SMD," said Gary Rabin, interim chairman and CEO of ACT. "This agreement marks another milestone in our history of successful collaboration with CEI on our RPE program. The promising data from the collaboration, begun in 2007, helped pave the way for this trial, and we look forward to starting it in the coming weeks."