CURRENT NEWS RELEASES
STEMEDICA ISSUED U.S. PATENT FOR STEM CELL TREATMENT OF DIABETIC RETINOPATHY AND
DIABETIC OPTIC NEUROPATHY
Multi-Stem Cell Products Address Leading Cause of Adult Blindness
(Source: December 20; Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc.)
Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc., a leading manufacturer of adult allogeneic stem cells and stem cell factors announced that the Company has been issued U.S. Patent #8,318,485 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This broad-based patent covers the treatment of diabetic retinopathy and other degenerative diseases of the eye with the Company’s ischemic tolerant neural (itNSC) and mesenchymal (itMSC) stem cells.
In the United States, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of new blindness in people 25-74 years of age. Approximately 700,000 persons in the United States have proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Each year another 65,000 are diagnosed with the condition. A recent study has estimated that, among people with diabetes aged 40 or older, 28.5% will develop diabetic retinopathy. Worldwide, it is estimated that 20 million people have proliferative diabetic retinopathy, with this number projected to increase to over 30 million by 2030.
Diabetic retinopathy begins as a vascular condition with microaneurysms in the vessels of the retina. These blood vessels become blocked, thereby depriving portions of the retina from blood supply. This trauma causes the retina to secrete vascularization signals that result in new, fragile, abnormal blood vessels being formed. The thin fragile walls of the new vessels leak fluid into the surrounding tissue, placing pressure on the nerves that become damaged in the process.
Nikolai Tankovich, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Medical Officer of Stemedica noted, “The treatment covered by this patent addresses the unique pathophysiology of diabetic retinopathy. Our ischemic tolerant mesenchymal stem cells are able to help restore the damaged endothelial lining and prevent the leakage of the microvasculature. The ischemic tolerant neural stem cells, injected directly behind the eye, address the nerve damage that has occurred with this condition.”
The patent was enabled by the results of a six patient clinical study conducted by Natalia Gavrilova, M.D., Ph.D., Head of Vascular & Eye Neurology at the Fyodorov Eye Microsurgery Center of Russia, and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology of Moscow Medical University. Fyodorov is one of the leading ophthalmologic centers in the world performing over 300,000 procedures a year.
The study, presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology meeting in Florida in the spring of 2011, was conducted without adverse events. Patients experienced improvements in the function of the optic nerve, blood flow to the eye, and reduction of inflammation in the six-month period following injection and became stable for the entire follow up period.
Paul Tornambe, M.D., of Retinal Consultants Inc., in San Diego, California, and former President of the American Society of Retina Specialists, reviewed the data. According to Dr. Tornambe, “These preliminary data are encouraging. As we seek to find the best treatments for diabetic retinopathy, it is important to explore many different approaches including combined stem cell treatment.”
Maynard Howe, Ph.D., Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Stemedica commented, “One of the strategic advantages of Stemedica is our ability to manufacture, under cGMP conditions and with the appropriate licensure, multiple types of stem cells and to do so with proven safety, purity and potency. We look forward to utilizing our ischemic tolerant products in addressing eye-related disease.”
About Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc.
Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc. is a specialty bio-pharmaceutical company committed to the manufacturing and development of best-in-class allogeneic adult stem cells and stem cell factors for use by approved research institutions and hospitals for pre-clinical and clinical (human) trials. The company is a government licensed manufacturer of clinical grade stem cells and is approved by the FDA for its clinical trials for ischemic stroke, acute myocardial infarction, and cutaneous photoaging. Stemedica is currently developing regulatory pathways for a number of medical indications using adult allogeneic stem cells. The Company is headquartered in San Diego, California.
Media Contact for Stemedica: Dave McGuigan at