July 12, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

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

2 min read

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