First patients undergo embryonic stem cell transplantation for Stargardt’s disease and macular degen

Advanced Cell Technologies, Inc (“ACT”, OTCBB: ACTC) of Marlborough, Massachusetts have announced the dosing of the first patients in each of its two Phase I/II clinical trials for Stargardt’s macular dystrophy and dry age related macular degeneration. In an outpatient transplantation surgical procedure the patients received a sub-retinal injection containing approximately 50,000 retinal pigment epithelium cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The prospective open label studies are designed to test the safety and tolerability of hESC-derived RPE cells and have a primary endpoint at 12 months post-injection. The procedures were performed by Dr. Steven Schwartz MD, Ahmanson Professor of Ophthalmology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and retinal division chief at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute.