CHA Bio&Diostech conducts Korea’s first human clinical trial using embryonic stem cells to treat Stargardt’s macular dystrophy (SMD)
- The surgery was performed at the Bundang CHA Hospital in Korea by a team of surgeons in the department of ophthalmology led by Professor Won Kyung Song
- The trial is designed to determine the safety and tolerability of hESC-derived RPE cells following sub-retinal transplantation into patients with SMD at 18 months
CHA Bio&Diostech announces Korea’s first treatment of the patient in its Phase 1 clinical trial for Stargardt’s macular dystrophy (SMD) using retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The surgery was performed on April 4, at the Bundang CHA Hospital in Korea by a team of surgeons in the department of ophthalmology led by Professor Won Kyung Song and the SMD patient went through the procedure uneventfully.
The Phase 1 clinical trial will involve 3 patients and is designed to determine the safety and tolerability of hESC-derived RPE cells following sub-retinal transplantation in patients with SMD at 18 months.
CHA Bio&Diostech’s SMD clinical trial using embryonic stem cells is for the first time in South Korea.
Also, CHA Bio&Diostech has successfully treated the first dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD) patient in last November. The DSMB (Data and Safety Monitoring Board) overseeing the Company’s stem cell clinical trial in Korea has authorized the Company to proceed with treating next patients in the dry AMD trial. CHA Bio&Diostech is currently preparing to proceed with the next patient in the dry AMD trial.
Dry AMD is the most common form of macular degeneration. It represents a market size of $25–30 Billion in the U.S. and Europealone, and there are currently no approved therapies available for this condition.
AMD afflicts more than 30 million people worldwide and is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 60. Dry AMD accounts for 90% of all cases and is characterized by the degeneration of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and the neuroretina.
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