Stem cell project to cure AMD underway

August 22, 2007

Researchers from University College London (UCL), Moorfields Eye Hospital and the University of Sheffield, UK are launching a pioneering project that plans to use stem cells to cure blindness resulting from age-related macular degeneration.

Researchers from University College London (UCL), Moorfields Eye Hospital and the University of Sheffield, UK are launching a pioneering project that plans to use stem cells to cure blindness resulting from age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The procedure will generate replacement retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells from stem cells in the laboratory. Surgeons will then inject a small patch of new cells, measuring 4 x 6 mm, back into the eye.

An anonymous US donor, frustrated by the US curb on stem cell research, has made the project possible by donating £4 million. The researchers hope that, if successful, the operation could become as routine as cataract surgery.

It is hoped that the first test patients will receive the treatment in just five years time.