By Adrian Galbreth
A new treatment for age-related macular denegation (AMD), a leading cause of blindness, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The organisation gave grand approval to regenerative medicine specialist Advanced Cell Technology for its investigational new drug, which uses retinal pigment epithelial cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).
Following the decision, Advanced Cell Technology can now conduct Phase I and II clinical trials on patients with dry AMD, which is the most common form of the disease and currently has no known treatments.
Gary Rabin, interim chairman and chief executive of Advanced Cell Technology, commented: "It marks a major step forward, not just within the stem cell sector, but potentially for modern healthcare techniques. We plan to proceed into the clinic with both of our hESC-based programmes as quickly as possible."
According to recent research carried out by experts at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, eating foods which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help to stave off AMD.
by Emily Tait