Scientists from University of California Irvine’s Gavin Herbert Eye Institute and Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center announced the start of patient enrollment for the first clinical trial evaluating the use of retinal progenitor cells to treat retinitis pigmentosa.
The Phase 1/2a open-label trial is aiming to study the safety of retinal progenitor cells injected into the vitreous cavity at two different doses in patients with late-stage retinitis pigmentosa. The study will enroll 16 patients to receive a single injection into the worst-seeing eye under topical anesthesia; to date, four patients with retinitis pigmentosa have received cell injections. Patients will be followed for 12 months with monitoring of safety and efficacy parameters.
The first-of-kind stem cell-based treatment being studied is intended to preserve vision by exerting its effect when degenerating photoreceptors in the patient’s retina can be protected and possibly reactivated–a less of a challenge than replacing lost cells.
For more information call (949) 824-3990 or visit UCI.edu.