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AMD Stem Cell Treatment

Stem cell research looks to cure age-related macular degeneration (AMD), increasing the pharmaceutical industry’s growing confidence in the medical potential of stem cells.

The prospect of using embryonic stem cells to treat the most common cause of blindness in humans has moved closer after a major investment was made into research from the world’s largest drug company, Pfizer.

This is HUGE is the world of stem cells and their potential for curing so many terminal illnesses.

This injection of private funding will help the research team to turn its scientific discoveries into a medical therapy for AMD.  It affects more than 500,000 people in Britain and is the number one common cause of blindness.

The UCL group, led by Professor Pete Coffey, has used embryonic stem cells to grow eye tissue that was destroyed in AMD and has transplanted it into animal eyes to reverse eye damage from the disease.

Professor Coffey’s team intends to begin human patient trials in 2010 or 2011 and will receive funding support from Pfizer. The company will also provide the facilities for producing therapeutic cells to treat people who are ready to have this form of surgery.

Pfizer will have an exclusive option to conduct clinical trials of the therapy and to commercialize any product that emerges from them. This is where Pfizer plans to benefit from their investment.  Financial details of the agreement have not yet been disclosed.

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