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Lineage Cell Therapeutics reversing dry AMD blindness

In a Phase I/II trial for OpRegen by Lineage Cell Therapeutics, retinal damage caused by dry AMD has ben reversed.

AMD is Age-related Macular Degeneration, and it’s the leading cause of blindness in people over 50. There are two types, wet and dry. Wet AMD involves leaking blood vessels and has multiple existing treatments. Dry AMD has been more elusive, as it is caused by the thinning of the macula of the eye overtime (causing atrophy of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium.)

Dry AMD in its most severe form impacts over 2 million Americans currently, and there are no existing treatments. While most leading investigations have focused on targeting inflammation in the eye, Lineage is actually attempting to manufacture entirely new retina cells and transplanting them into the eye.

The procedure involves local anesthesia and only takes 30 minutes to complete.

The new retinal cells begin as pluripotent stem cells, which are then manufactured into mass amounts of retina cells that can then be transplanted into the diseased eye.

The ongoing trial for OpRegen involved 24 people, 12 of which were legally blind due to ADM. While the half of patients with more severe AMD were tested more for safety concerns, there was still a noticeable decrease in the waste material (Drussen) produced by the eye’s metabolic activities. Drussen is cleared by retina cells, and implanting healthy new cells may lead to a decrease in the material.

The remaining 12 patients with healthier vision saw greater improvements, including an increase in vision.

There have even been three cases of retinal restoration, previously thought to be an impossibility in humans. Later this year, Lineage will propose their next trial design to the FDA, while the three regeneration cases remain great proof of concept.

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In addition to keeping you up to date on all things clinical trials, we also act as a digital CRO with a specific focus on patient recruitment and retention. We believe that patient recruitment and study startup (especially study design and study material) are heavily intertwined. After all, study design can make or break clinical trials, and the patient-perspective should be considered when designing studies to ensure that patient targets are met not only on time, but also on budget.

For Citruslabs, patient recruitment starts with study design and ends with trial completion. We recruit patients through our network of health apps, which enables you to connect with thousands of patients in real time. The best part: these patients are already educated and prepared for the clinical trial process.

If you’d like to hear more about what we do, go here to read about what sets us apart, or here to read what our patients have to say about us.


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