Ocata Therapeutics, Inc. (now owned by Acucela) has announced positive results in four Asian patients who were treated with the company’s proprietary RPE stem cells.
These new data support previously reported positive long-term safety and signs of visual improvement, as reported here in October 2014. The Korean study, published online in Stem Cell Reports, features twelve months of post-transplant follow-up data from four Asian patients; two with Stargardt’s macular degeneration (SMD) and two with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
In this study there was no evidence of serious safety issues related to the transplanted cells. Although designed as a safety study, visual acuity improved 9–19 letters in three patients and remained stable (+1 letter) in one patient.
According to Paul K. Wotton, Ph.D., President and CEO of Ocata, “The safe treatment of a total of forty two patients across multiple studies with this novel therapeutic approach in geographically distinct patient populations is encouraging. We look forward to the planned initiation of our comprehensive Phase 2 safety study in dry AMD and a pivotal study in SMD, two disabling diseases where there is no cure available today.”