The Cells for Sight Stem Cell Therapy Research Unit was established in 2005 and was the UK's first Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) accredited cultured stem cell facility.
This Unit operates in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice, enabling cells and tissues to be used in the clinic.
The Unit proved so beneficial that it was awarded funding of over £0.5 million from the Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust and in 2011 was re-housed in a new state-of-the-art cleanroom suite at Moorflelds Eye Hospital, London and is licensed to produce Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) under the MHRA 'Specials' and MIA-IMP schemes.
To date 25 patients with blinding ocular surface disease have been treated with cultured limbal stem cell therapy.
The Unit is manufacturing human embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigmented epithelial cells for transplantation in a clinical trial headed by Prof. Pete Coffey 'The London Project to Cure Blindness'.