NEWARK, Calif., Feb. 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE). StemCells, Inc. is beginning enrollment in the second of two planned patient cohorts of its proprietary HuCNS stem cells for dry AMD. The last patient in the first cohort was transplanted by Dr. Ted Leng, M.D. Director of Ophthalmic Diagnostics at the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford.
“Our immediate goal for the study in the next quarter is to complete enrollment of the second cohort. The eight patients in this stage of the trial will have better visual acuity than those in the first cohort,” said Stephen Huhn, M.D., FACS, FAAP (Vice President, CNS Clinical Research at StemCells, Inc.) “We are expanding the trial from two sites at the beginning to ultimately a total of five sites, and with additional sites actively evaluating patients, the second cohort should be completed by mid-year. We also expect to announce interim follow-up data on the first cohort later this year. Following enrollment of the second cohort, we expect to initiate a controlled phase II efficacy proof-of-concept study by year end.”
The HuCNS-SC cells will be administered by a single injection into the space behind the retina in the most affected eye. Evaluations will be performed at predetermined intervals over a one-year period to assess safety and signs of visual benefit. Patients will then be followed for an additional four years in a separate observational study. The trial is currently enrolling patients at four centers:
Retina Foundation of the Southwest, Dallas, TX
Byers Eye Institute at Stanford, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Palo Alto, CA
New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, New York City, NY
Retina Research Institute of Texas, Abilene, TX
Patients who are interested in participating in the study should contact the Retina Foundation of the Southwest at 214-363-3911, Byers Eye Institute at 650-498-4486, the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary at 212-979-4251, or the Retina Research Institute of Texas at 325-690-4414.
Information about the Company’s Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration program can be found on the StemCells, Inc. website.