January 23, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

macular degeneration

2 min read

Masayo Takahashi is a leading stem cell researcher doing translational and clinical research on vision. She’s doing pioneering work on using pluripotent stem cells as a basis for helping patients with vision loss such as due to macular degeneration. She won The Niche’s Stem Cell Person of the Year Award in 2014 and a number of other awards. Last week I did a post on some exciting new clinical trial work starting here in the US by the NIH/NEI, and that sparked a great …Read More

2 min read

Stem cell news is always burbling up, sometimes right there in front of us on the web and other times via networks of people. Astellas news. Some may remember there used to be this pioneering stem cell biotech called ACT, which then became Ocata, and finally was acquired by the big company Astellas. One of their areas of focus was on using pluripotent stem cells for macular degeneration. The driving scientific force was (and is) Dr. Robert Lanza. About a year ago I had …Read More

3 min read

Do stem cells for vision loss offer real hope? I believe so, but it’s a long road and must be done right. A new paper in this area generated some buzz on top of an earlier recent pub (mentioned in this post) just a week or so ago about the potential of stem cells for vision loss. The new paper is entitled, “A bioengineered retinal pigment epithelial monolayer for advanced, dry age-related macular degeneration” and is Kashani, et al. They generated special eye cells called retinal …Read More

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What’s better for stem cell trials such as for vision loss or Parkinson’s Disease: allogeneic or autologous cells? In a major shift earlier this year, the induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cell trial in Japan for treatment of macular degeneration (MD) switched gears from using the patients’ own cells (called “autologous”) to using banked cells from other people, termed “allogeneic”. Dr. Masayo Takahashi, the leader of this MD trial indicated the main reason was due to regulatory changes related to stem cells in Japan. This …Read More

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Bombshell news in the stem cell field as Ocata Therapeutics (OCAT; formerly Advanced Cell Technology or ACT) is reportedly to be acquired by Astellas Pharma, Inc. The offer for purchase of OCAT will be $8.50/share or almost $380 million. For more details see this detailed PDF from Astellas. This quote on the deal form Ocata: “Paul Wotton, Ph.D., President and CEO, Ocata said, “I am impressed by the vision and commitment of Astellas and believe that with their global resources behind our regenerative platform, patients …Read More

9 min read

Masayo Takahashi (高橋 政代) on IPSC Trial for Macular Degeneration By Michael Cea Stem Cell Analyst & Advocate (editor’s note: piece was originally posted on Michael’s blog here; follow Michael on Twitter @msemporda) Having followed closely the developments in programs using pluripotent based therapeutics I was fortunate during ISSCR2015 to have the opportunity to sit down with Dr Masayo Takahashi to discuss her pioneering efforts to translate Shinya Yamanaka’s groundbreaking iPS technology for debilitating retinal conditions. As most everyone is aware, the first iteration of the …Read More

2 min read

The pioneering induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) clinical study in Japan led by top stem cell clinical researcher Dr. Masayo Takahashi has been stopped reports the WSJ in Japan. This development is confirmed by other sources and in a PDF report by RIKEN (in Japanese here). One patient was transplanted in September 2014 with their own IPSC-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells (using an innovative RPE sheet, see image) for treatment of macular degeneration. The study then moved on to a possible second patient, whose IPSC did …Read More