April 20, 2024

Second embryo stem cell trial to begin in two years

ESCs to cure blindness
British scientists are getting ready to roll out the world’s second
clinical trial of embryonic stem cells — to cure blindness. With
financial support from the drug giant Pfizer, researchers at the
Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London will useESC cells to cure age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most
common cause of blindness. With an ageing population, AMD
could become a major problem. The treatment involves replacing a layer
of degenerated cells with new ones
created from embryonic stem cells. Results have been promising with
rats and the researchers hope to begin human trials in two years. The
leader of the research team, Professor Pete Coffey, said the treatment
would take “less than an hour, so it really could be
considered as an outpatient procedure. We are trying to get it out as a
common therapy”. 
The first clinical  trials ofESCs will take place this year in the US on patients with spinal cord injuries. ~ London Sunday Times, Apr 19