20.04.2009

Stem cell cure for blindness

Stem cell cure for blindness

By Adrian Galbreth

A potential cure for blindness that relies on stem cells has been developed by scientists in London.

Surgeons and scientists at Moorfields Eye Hospital and the University College London"s Institute of Opthalmology have developed the therapy for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Eye cells from embryonic stem cells are used to replace the ones which have degenerated after being made into copies of the damaged ones, the Sunday Times reported.

Financial support for the therapy will be provided by pharmaceutical research firm Pfizer.

Tom Bremridge, head of the Macular Disease Society, welcomed Pfizer"s backing and stated: "Once this treatment is validated, it will be made available to a huge volume of patients."

Moorfields Eye Hospital was responsible for more than 23,000 eye operations last year.

According to its website, its alliance with the Institute of Opthalmology is the world"s biggest ongoing research project within the ophthalmic field.

There are more than 1,300 people working for the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust at numerous places in London and the surrounding area.

by Emily Tait


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