Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Experimental Human Embryonic Stem Cell Study to Test for Safety in Elderly Blind

"US biotech company Advanced Cell Technology said Monday it was cleared by government regulators to start its second trial using human embryonic stem cells to treat blindness, this time in older people.

The trial will examine the therapy’s ability to safely treat people with a condition known as dry age-related macular degeneration, the most common form of irreversible vision loss in people over age 60.

There is currently no cure for the disease, which affects around 10-15 million Americans and another 10 million people in Europe, the company said.

Embryonic stem cell research has been a controversial field ever since the first such stem cells were isolated more than 12 years ago. Critics oppose the research because it involves the destruction of human embryos."

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