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Macular Degeneration

A stem-cell first for macular degeneration

Monday 15 February 2016

In a pioneering clinical trial, a patient with macular degeneration has been treated using lab-grown stem cells at University College London. The trial will test if it is safe and effective to transplant a type of eye cell grown from stem cells in the lab to restore sight in people with severe visual loss from wet AMD.

Surgery involves inserting a specially developed patch at the back of the eye behind the retina in order to replace diseased cells. A female patient underwent surgery in August 2015, and a further nine patients are due to be recruited to the trail over the next year and a half subject to assessment of the success of the initial operation.

Co-leader of the research Professor Pete Coffey says: “Although we recognise this clinical trial focuses on a small group of AMD patients who have experienced sudden severe visual loss, we hope that many patients may benefit in the future.”


  1. MCR:
    First patient treated with stem cell therapy for wet age-related macular degeneration.
  2. The Guardian:
    First UK patient receives stem cell treatment to cure loss of vision.


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