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New York Times: 2 Treatments for Retinas Make Gains

Advanced Cell Technology, of Marlborough, Mass., said it would test its stem cell therapy on 12 adults with severe vision loss caused by Stargardt’s, an inherited disease. The company has turned human embryonic stem cells into retinal pigment epithelial cells, which will be surgically implanted into the eye. The hope is that the implanted cells will replace those injured by the disease.

Human embryonic stem cells are controversial because their creation usually entails the destruction of human embryos, although Advanced Cell Technology is working on a technique to avoid that.

Embryonic cells can also form tumors if injected into the body. Dr. Robert Lanza, chief scientist at Advanced Cell, said the company had to prove to the F.D.A. that its retinal cells contained virtually no residual embryonic stem cells. It took a year for the company to get clearance for the trial from the F.D.A.

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Robert Lanza takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

Robert Lanza Article Thumbnail Graphic

"Before I did the #icebucketchallenge, I challenged the leader of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), Dr. Bob Lanza, to do the Ice Bucket Challenge. He did it and leading up to it he provided a quite articulate message for context (see video). Bob is one very cool guy even without ice water."
Paul Knoepfler

Entire Company takes the Ice Bucket Challenge. Click Here to See Video.