A clinical trial using stem cell-derived ocular cells for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has been initiated in England. This was a major milestone for the London Project to Cure Blindness, which aims to cure vision loss in people with wet AMD. The organization was founded 10 years ago by UC Santa Barbara’s Peter Coffey, a professor at the campus’s Neuroscience Research Institute. “Cellular therapy has tremendous potential for treating all types of age-related macular degeneration,” said Coffey’s colleague Dennis Clegg, the Wilcox Family Chair in BioMedicine in UCSB’s Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. “Regenerative medicine using stem cells will likely become a major weapon to fight many diseases.”
The surgery was performed on a patient last month and no complications have arisen to date. The team hopes to determine the patient’s outcome in terms of initial visual recovery by early December.