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Cell therapy based solution to AMD

Fig.1 Anatomy of the eye

(Illustration not to proportions)

Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is a disorder that affects approximately 2-3% of the population all over the world above 50 Years of age. In this disorder, the photoreceptors around and in Macula (the most accurate visual focus area) degenerate leading to visual accuracy problem. At present there is no definitive treatment for this problem to cure this. Rather there are palliative measures to stop the progress of the disease. We have tied up with M/S Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital, Mumbai to jointly research a cell therapeutics based solution for the ARMD.


The successful in vitro expansion of human-cadaver-donor derived RPE cells could be accomplished (1) and following an animal experiment this could be taken to human clinical studies.

Autologous Bone marrow stem cells (ABMSC) to treat retinal degenerative diseases(RDD).

ABMSCs have been experimentally tried in animal models (2.1-2.4) and human studies (3) in treating RDDs by intravitreal injection. NCRM has been working on undifferentiated expansion of ABMSC with specificity to CD34+ cells towards further improvising the results reported in earlier studies

(1) Sheriff AK, Senthilkumar R, Farzana BL, Manjunath S, Mohanashankar M, Naveen AT, Natarajan S, Mori Y, Yoshioka H, Abraham S , "Expansion and molecular characterization of human cadaver Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells". First Annual Meeting of SCRFI and International Conference on Stem Cell Research, Bangalore, India; 29th Jan - 1st Feb, 2007

(2.1) Harris JR, Brown GA, Jorgensen M, Kaushal S, Ellis EA, Grant MB, Scott EW. “Bone marrow-derived cells home to and regenerate retinal pigment epithelium after injury”. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006 ;47(5):2108-13.

(2.2) Otani A, Kinder K, Ewalt K, Otero FJ, Schimmel P, Friedlander M. “Bone marrow-derived stem cells target retinal astrocytes and can promote or inhibit retinal angiogenesis”. Nat Med. 2002;8(9):1004-10.

(2.3) Otani A, Dorrell MI, Kinder K, Moreno SK, Nusinowitz S, Banin E, Heckenlively J, Friedlander M. “Rescue of retinal degeneration by intravitreally injected adult bone marrow-derived lineage-negative hematopoietic stem cells”. J Clin Invest. 2004;114(6):765-74.

(2.4) Atmaca-Sonmez P, Li Y, Yamauchi Y, Schanie CL, Ildstad ST, Kaplan HJ, Enzmann V. “Systemically transferred hematopoietic stem cells home to the subretinal space and express RPE-65 in a mouse model of retinal pigment epithelium damage”. Exp Eye Res. 2006; 83(5):1295-302

(3) Kumar A, Kumar Pahwa A, Tandon R, Kumar L, Mohanty S. “Use of Autologous Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cells for Rehabilitation of Patients with Dry Age Related Macular Degeneration and Retinitis Pigmentosa: Phase-1 Clinical Trial”. Ind J of Med. Paediatric Onc 2005.


*"Nichi" stands for Japan and "In" stands for India. This institute started on an Indo-Japan collaboration now has spreaded further with global alliances
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