With a market capitalization of more than $350 million, Ocata Therapeutics is a major player in the stem cell space. Based in Marlborough, Massachusetts, it is a clinical stage biotech company that develops a range of regenerative therapies for the treatment of ophthalmologic conditions.
By 2010, Ocata Therapeutics (at the time called “Advanced Cell Therapy”) began experimenting with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). This was only four years after research and experimentation using mouse cells at Kyoto University first generated iPSCs in 2006, and only three years after a series of follow-up experiments done at Kyoto University successfully transformed human adult cells into iPSCs in 2007. Due to concerns with the use of iPSCs for therapeutic applications, the company shifted its approach to using human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) for clinical trial purposes, as well as other pluripotent cell types.
Ocata Therapeutics Applies Regenerative, Cell-based Approach to Vision Restoration
In major news released on December 28, 2015, Ocata Therapeutics stated in a company press release that “early research was published in the journal PLOS One (online, December 21, 2015) by Ocata and its collaborators at the University of Miami, UCSD, and Stanford University…presenting a method for generating scalable amounts of human embryonic stem cell derived corneal endothelial cells (hESC-CEC).”
This is a promising advance, because it moves us closer toward the development of regenerative, cell-based approach to vision restoration.
The full press release about the announcement is included below, with permission from Ocata’s press liason, Mr. David Schull.
Ocata Reports the Publication of Data about the Generation of Corneal Endothelial Cells from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
Results Published in PLOS One Online
PRESS RELEASE; MARLBOROUGH, MA; December 28, 2015 —
Ocata Therapeutics, Inc. (OCAT), a leader in the field of regenerative medicine, reported today that early research was published in the journal PLOS One (online, December 21, 2015) by Ocata and its collaborators at the University of Miami, UCSD, and Stanford University. The publication presents a method for generating scalable amounts of human embryonic stem cell derived corneal endothelial cells (hESC-CEC).
“Disease and injury to the cornea are leading causes of blindness worldwide,” said Robert Lanza, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Ocata and senior author of the paper. “Unfortunately, many people are left visually impaired or blind due to lack of available donor corneas. We have developed a simple, two-step method for generating amounts of hESC-CECs, in-vitro, which does not rely on donor corneas.” Dr. Lanza added, “The ability to manufacture these cells from a single, replenishable stem cell source may provide a potential solution to the worldwide shortage of transplantable corneal tissue. As we near the completion of our acquisition by Astellas, I am excited about the possibility of moving this early research into pre-clinical studies in the future.”
About Ocata Therapeutics, Inc.
Ocata Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of regenerative ophthalmology therapeutics. Ocata’s most advanced products are in clinical trials for the treatment of Stargardt’s macular degeneration, dry age-related macular degeneration, and myopic macular degeneration. Ocata’s intellectual property portfolio includes pluripotent stem cell platforms – hESC and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) – and other cell therapy research programs. For more information, visit www.ocata.com.
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