In research presented today at the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy Annual Meeting (29 April–May 2, Washington, DC, USA), researchers from the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (MD, USA) demonstrated the utility of a scaffold combined with human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells in restoring ocular function. The combination product was tested on Yucatan pigs which had age-related macular degeneration (AMD) induced via laser.
In the study, a scaffold with cells, without cells and cells without a scaffold were assessed for their effect on retinal features, and functionality was assessed through linear mixed effect modeling of multi-focal electroradiography and optical coherence tomography.
Implantation of a scaffold with cells lead to the greatest improvement in functionality, with improvements in six of the seven waveform components being analyzed. Morphological and histological assessments also indicated the scaffold with cells lead to the greatest improvement.
“These promising results will provide the necessary pre-clinical work for a phase I IND-enabling study”, the authors concluded.
Source: Rising AC, Li Y, Amaral J et al. Morphological and Functional Rescue of Retina in a Laser Induced RPE Injury Swine Model Using iPSC-Derived RPE Patch. Presented at: American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy Annual Meeting. Washington, DC, USA. 2019