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Eye Therapy News

The Art of Eyes

Thu, 07 Aug 2014 14:23:19 +0000

The eye is an object of great beauty as shown by the Ophthalmologist in their July/August 2014 issue. This month’s issue features a photo essay called The Art of the Eyes and includes examples of the work from a number research labs capturing the complex and beautiful detail of the eye and its cells. The essay includes images […]

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In memoriam

Tue, 05 Aug 2014 16:02:34 +0000

Dr Yoshiki Sasai (1962 – 2014) It is with great sadness today that we remember and pay tribute to our collaborator Dr Yoshiki Sasai. Yoshiki was a world leading stem cell researcher and Deputy Director of the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan. Through his hard work and dedication over many years, Yoshiki […]

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International Clinical Trials Day: Our Work in Summary

Tue, 20 May 2014 15:03:41 +0000

Introduction Today, 20 May 2014, is International Clinical Trials Day. This landmark day remembers the pioneering work of James Lind a Scottish naval physician who, in the 1700s, conducted the first controlled clinical study that identified that citrus fruit (containing Vitamin C) was effective in treating scurvy. Each year, a number of organisations mark this […]

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Dr. Adam Dubis: A Researcher With a Vision for Optical Imaging

Fri, 16 May 2014 10:37:16 +0000

This month our own Dr Adam Dubis is profiled as one of the ‘People Behind the Science’. Adam is a Research Associate here at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and is the Advanced Human Retinal Imaging Specialist at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Listen to how Adam got to where he is today and […]

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News

Europe's first safety trial investigating transplantation of stem cell-derived retinal cells in Stargardt disease begins

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We have started a clinical trial to assess the safety of injecting retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells, grown from embryonic stem (ES) cells, into the eyes of patients with Stargardt macular dystrophy. This is the first clinical trial in Europe to use cells derived from ES cells, and follows an ongoing study in the USA where two patients received similar cells without any complications to date.

Photoreceptor transplant restores vision in mice

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In an important study, the Gene and Cell Therapy Group have showed for the first time that transplanting light-sensitive photoreceptors into the eyes of visually impaired mice can restore their vision.

The results, published in Nature, suggest that transplanting photoreceptors – light-sensitive nerve cells that line the back of the eye – could form the basis of a new treatment to restore sight in people with degenerative eye diseases.

Dr. Rachael Pearson injected cells from young healthy mice directly into the retinas of adult mice that lacked functional rod photoreceptor cells - rod cells are vital for seeing in the dark as they are extremely sensitive to even low levels of light. Loss of photoreceptors is the cause of blindness in many human eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and diabetes-related blindness. 

After four to six weeks, the transplanted cells appeared to be functioning almost as well as normal rod photoreceptor cells and had formed the connections needed to transmit visual information to the brain. 

We also tested the vision of the treated mice in a dimly lit maze. Those mice with newly transplanted rod cells were able to use a visual cue to quickly find a hidden platform in the maze whereas untreated mice were able to find the hidden platform only by chance after extensive exploration of the maze.

Retina patient day 2012

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Patients with retinal degeneration and their families gathered in London on April 21st to attend the first UCL/Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre for Ophthalmology “Retina Patient Day”. Over 250 attendees had the opportunity to interact with more than 40 clinicians and scientists from Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology Department of Genetics, who provided updates on their research into developing effective treatments for blinding retinal conditions.

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