miércoles, 17 de febrero de 2010


Dear Analia,

Thank you for your email. Please accept our sincere apologies for not responding to you sooner.

The main aim of London Project To Cure Blindness is to develop a stem cell therapy for Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) by 2012, whereby the cells which degenerate in AMD, the retinal pigment epithelium cells (RPE), at the back of the eye are replaced by healthy cells that have been developed from human embryonic stem cells. The degeneration of the RPE cells is the underlying cause of AMD and leads to the degeneration of the photoreceptors (the “seeing” part of the retina).

We should say, that at this point in time the treatment that we are taking to clinical trials in 2011 will need to be performed before patients lose their sight. The reason for this is because for this particular aspect of the project we are trying to maintain sight rather than restore sight. We do have projects which are specifically aimed at restoring sight (e.g. replacing the photoreceptors), but these are still in their early stages - although researchers have already been successful in developing RPE from stem cells, the technology for growing fully functional photoreceptors from stem cells has yet to be discovered. As such, the first treatments likely to become available would only benefit patients who had ‘recently’ been diagnosed with the disease.

With best wishes,

The London Project Team

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