The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has selected AiVita Biomedical, a California-based therapeutic development company, to collaborate on a $4 million early translational research grant project for the development of stem cell-derived 3D-transplantable retinas to treat vision loss.
AiVita’s role is to manufacture the 3D-retinal organoids and render the process both clinically and commercially compliant using its good manufacturing practices (GMP) production, quality and regulatory systems. University of California, Irvine will test the product for safety and efficacy in relevant models of retinal degeneration.
The project aims to address deficits common to macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa by using human stem cells differentiated into sheets of retinal tissue to restore visual responses.
The team believes this will enable them to treat a greater number of retinal disorders at various stages, as compared to current approaches which can only target limited disease stages through methods such as transient trophic support for degenerating retinal cells within the patient.
The project is being conducted in collaboration with the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine.