Lineage Cell Therapeutics (originally BioTime, Inc.) has announced positive results with its experimental OpRegen® therapy for geographic atrophy (GA), the advanced stage of dry macular degeneration.
The company began enrolling and treating U.S.-based patients in 2017 under David S. Boyer, M.D. (Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group, Los Angeles) and H. Richard McDonald, M.D., (West Coast Retina Medical Group, San Francisco).
OpRegen® is an investigational therapy in which retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells are introduced into the subretinal space, where they are intended to replace missing RPE cells. Phase 1 results showed that OpRegen® caused no serious adverse events, and retinal imaging suggested the presence and survival of transplanted cells in the subretinal space for up to one year.
In May 2020, researchers reported to the 2020 Association For Research In Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) that positive results are continuing to come from the Phase 1/2 study, including gains in visual acuity, reduced geographic atrophy (GA) progression, and improved reading speed. In one patient of 17 so far enrolled, geographic atrophy was 25% smaller at 9 months than at baseline. In the next 6 months, the area grew approximately 50% slower than its historical rate.
Brian Culley, CEO of Lineage Cell Therapeutics, said, “Our data are early, and we need to continue testing, but we are encouraged by early evidence that transplanting our retina cells may lead to an increase in letters read by some patients.”
SOURCE: Lineage Cell Therapeutics