Eye On the Cure Research News

Apr 29, 2019

ARVO 2019 Highlight: RP Patients in ReNeuron’s Cell Therapy Trial Show Further Vision Improvements

The latest ReNeuron results were presented at the sixth annual Retinal Cell and Gene Therapy Innovation Summit held on April 26 in Vancouver, Canada.

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ReNeuron, a developer of cell-based therapies, has reported that the first three patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in the Phase 2a cohort of its Phase 1/2 clinical trial have demonstrated sustained and further vision improvements since receiving the company’s human retinal progenitor cells (hRPC).

The hRPC are stem cells that have almost matured into photoreceptors, the retinal cells that make vision possible. The goal of the emerging treatment is to restore vision in people with RP and related conditions.

“The results for the ReNeuron trial continue to be promising. The improvements in visual acuity, which reflects the ability to perceive more detail and read smaller letters, are especially encouraging,” says Brian Mansfield, PhD, executive vice president of research and interim chief scientific officer at the Foundation Fighting Blindness. “We look forward to additional reports from the clinical study as it moves forward with more participants.”

The first subject in the Phase 2a cohort showed a 21-letter improvement (4 lines on an eye chart) in visual acuity at 120 days after receiving the treatment. Earlier, that subject had a 20-letter improvement at 60 days.

The second subject in the Phase 2a cohort showed a 25-letter improvement (5 lines on an eye chart) at 60 days after receiving the treatment. Earlier, that subject had a 15-letter improvement at 18 days.

The third subject in the Phase 2a cohort showed a 23-letter improvement (more than 4 lines on an eye chart) at 60 days after receiving the treatment. Earlier, that subject had a 14-letter improvement at 18 days.

Patients in the Phase 2a group had better vision at trial enrollment than those in the Phase 1 group. Those in Phase 1, which primarily focused on treatment safety, did not experience vision improvements.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness funded Michael Young, PhD, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, for pre-clinical and translational studies for the hRPC that helped make the ReNeuron trial possible.

The latest ReNeuron results were presented by Jason Comander, MD, PhD, a lead investigator for the trial at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, at the sixth annual Retinal Cell and Gene Therapy Innovation Summit on April 26. The summit, hosted by the Foundation Fighting Blindness and Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, preceded the 2019 annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) taking place in Vancouver, Canada, on April 28 – May 2.