NeoStem Announces Extension of Study-(CIRM) to Fund Research of Retinal Disease

NEW YORK, April 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — NeoStem, Inc. (Nasdaq:NBS), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel cell based personalized medicine therapies, announced today the extension of its study under a 2014 Early Translational grant from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine for research leading to the development of a treatment for retinal diseases, including macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.
Under the $4 million grant made to the University of California, Irvine, NeoStem is entitled, through a subaward, to $1 million of new funds adding to the original $0.5 million awarded. The goals of the research are to generate three-dimensional retinal tissue, to investigate the ability of adult induced pluripotent stem cells to restore sight in rodent models of retinal degeneration and to make eventual preparations for clinical use of the tissue.
The grant supports a three-year study led by Dr. Hans S. Keirstead, President of NeoStem Oncology, and Dr. Magdalene J. Seiler, Project Scientist V at the University of California, Irvine and its Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center.
“This study exemplifies our commitment to utilizing non-dilutive funding sources for discovery programs exploring application of our technologies in other indications. A self-sustaining development pipeline depends on the generation of new development programs that are reasonable in terms of size of opportunity and clinical investment,” said Dr. David J. Mazzo, Chief Executive Officer of NeoStem.
In the first year of the study, NeoStem fulfilled its primary goal of reproducibly generating retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and layered retinal progenitor tissue, which include progenitors of the major retinal cell types including photoreceptors. This success enables the rest of the study, which will focus on transplantation and testing of these tissues in rodent models of retinal degeneration.
Approximately 11 million people in the United States have some form of age-related macular degeneration. This number is expected to double to nearly 22 million by 2050. Estimates of the global cost of visual impairment due to age-related macular degeneration is $343 billion, including $255 billion in direct health care costs…….
Read more:
Source: Globe Newswire