The procedure, involving a single injection of hRPC cells under the retina, was conducted at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a specialist in retinal degeneration. The patient was discharged from hospital that day.
RP leads to progressive loss of sight due to photoreceptor cells in the retina becoming damaged and eventually dying.
ReNeuron’s Human Retinal Progenitor Cells (hRPCs) have shown an ability to protect the host retina from further degeneration and also potentially treat any of the genetic variants of RP.
Fifteen patients will be treated with hRPC in the trial, the company’s first in the US. The hRPC programme has US fast-track status and Orphan Drug Designation in both the US and Europe.
ReNeuron aims to file for a Phase II/III clinical trial in the second half of 2017 dependent on how this trial goes.
Olav Hellebo, ReNeuron’s chief executive said: “Retinal degenerative diseases represent extremely attractive targets for cell therapy approaches and our programme targeting RP benefits from a number of key competitive advantages in terms of the potential mechanisms of action of our hRPC cells and the potential speed of clinical development to market for this programme.
“With the start of this study, we are also delighted to have commenced clinical development activities in the US, a major target market."