ReNeuron has found ‘significant restoration of vision’ in patients with retinitis pigmentosa given its human retinal progenitor cells (hRPC) cell therapy.
Subjects with the disease, which can cause blindness, showed an average improvement of reading an additional three lines of five letters on the ETDRS eye chart, the standardised eye chart used to measure visual acuity in clinical trials.
The pioneering cell therapy is gene-agnostic, as cells are embedded in the back of the eyes, generating creation of new photo receptors whilst simulating growth, marking the first time new photo receptors have ever been created.
All three subjects in the first cohort of the Phase II part of the trial have demonstrated a significant improvement in vision at follow-up compared with their untreated control eye, meaning that despite the small data set the findings are very promising.
At two months follow-up for one subject, and at 18 days for the other two, all three subjects have reported improved vision, further proving longevity of the treatment.
Pravin Dugel, managing partner, retinal consultants of Arizona and a first Phase II cohort’s investigator, said: “When I heard about the rapidity and magnitude of the visual gain in the first patient that Jason treated in this cohort, I was hopeful, but sceptical. Now that I saw this repeated in my first two patients, I am very excited indeed.”
Dosing of the second cohort of three Phase II subjects is expected to commence in March 2019 following a DSMB review of the clinical data from the first Phase II cohort.