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Prospects for clinical use of reprogrammed cells for autologous treatment of macular degeneration

Alvarez Palomo, A.B., McLenachan, S., Chen, F.K., Da Cruz, L., Dilley, R.J., Requena, J., Lucas, M., Lucas, A., Drukker, M. and Edel, M.J. (2015) Prospects for clinical use of reprogrammed cells for autologous treatment of macular degeneration. Fibrogenesis & Tissue Repair, 8 (1).

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Since the discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) in 2006, the symptoms of many human diseases have been reversed in animal models with iPSC therapy, setting the stage for future clinical development. From the animal data it is clear that iPSC are rapidly becoming the lead cell type for cell replacement therapy and for the newly developing field of iPSC-derived body organ transplantation. The first human pathology that might be treated in the near future with iPSC is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which has recently passed the criteria set down by regulators for phase I clinical trials with allogeneic human embryonic stem cell-derived cell transplantation in humans. Given that iPSC are currently in clinical trial in Japan (RIKEN) to treat AMD, the establishment of a set of international criteria to make clinical-grade iPSC and their differentiated progeny is the next step in order to prepare for future autologous cell therapy clinical trials. Armed with clinical-grade iPSC, we can then specifically test for their threat of cancer, for proper and efficient differentiation to the correct cell type to treat human disease and then to determine their immunogenicity. Such a rigorous approach sets a far more relevant paradigm for their intended future use than non-clinical-grade iPSC. This review focuses on the latest developments regarding the first possible use of iPSC-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells in treating human disease, covers data gathered on animal models to date and methods to make clinical-grade iPSC, suggests techniques to ensure quality control and discusses possible clinical immune responses.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Institute for Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Publisher: BioMed Central
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