A surgical team successfully implanted a patch of tissue made from the patient's cells in the hopes of treating the patient's advanced "dry" age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD).
Dry AMD has no treatment but is the leading cause of vision loss in older
Americans. The patient receiving the implant was a part of a clinical trial in the United States and is in the phase 1/2a to determine the therapy's safety. The clinical trial uses replacement tissues from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.
Ten years of research and development is behind the new therapy which involves using the patient's blood cells and converting them to iPS cells to become retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. RPE cells are the cells that deteriorate causing the advanced form of dry AMD. It's this loss of RPE cells that causes vision loss.