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Phase I/II stem cell trial in dry AMD indicates improvement in visual function and delay in disease progression

According to the sponsor of an AMD stem cell clinical study, StemCells Inc., (NASDAQ: STEM) interim trial results from a phase I/II trial suggest a 65% reduction in the rate of geographic atrophy (GA) in the treated eye, compared to the expected natural history of the disease. In addition, the sponsors also report improvements in visual function, measured by contrast sensitivity, which the company claims was improved in four of the seven patients tested and remained stable in the other three patients. While the initial results provide encouraging data and a minimum follow-up of 6 months, the numbers treated so far remain small and statistical significance has yet to be reported. Previously the company had announced the successful transplantation of HuCNS-SC (purified human neural stem cells) into their first five patients in the final cohort of the company’s 16-patient study for geographic atrophy of age related macular degeneration (GA-AMD).