Ocata Therapeutics, which has trademarked the term Regenerative Ophthalmology, is developing stem cell therapies for Stargardt macular degeneration, dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and myopic macular degeneration, Chief Medical Officer Eddy Anglade, MD, reported at OIS@AAO.
The company’s intellectual property portfolio includes pluripotent stem cell platforms – hESC and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) – and other cell therapy research programs, he said.
“We take pluripotent stem cells from any source, whether it’s a human embryo or so-called induced pluripotent stem cells and differentiate them at high purity and high quantity into any cell type,” Dr. Anglade said. “They can be corneal epithelial cells, retinal ganglion cells, photoreceptors, or the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).”
Ocata’s lead clinical program is RPE Cell Therapy for treating macular degeneration. “The thesis of our transplantation platform is to restore the anatomic relationship between the pigment epithelium and the photoreceptors and thereby restore vision,” Dr. Anglade said.
The firm is also developing a Photoreceptor Progenitor Cell Therapy that can be used for treating a wide variety of retinal degenerations in diseases where photoreceptors malfunction and/or die, Dr. Anglade said. The Ganglion Progenitor Cell Therapy is a preclinical program that has shown in animal models of glaucoma that injection of these cells protects against damage of existing nerve cells and forms new ganglion nerve cells, he said.
Ocata is also developing therapeutic platforms using corneal endothelial cells to treat corneal blindness.
“If we can look at the variety of tissue that can be reproduced, one can imagine treatment from the front to the back of the eye for various diseases whether it’s macular degeneration, glaucoma, uveitis, ocular surface disease, or corneal endothelial disease,” Dr. Anglade said. “Clearly there’s an opportunity for therapy with one of more of these modalities.”
Eddy Anglade, MD
Dr. Eddy Anglade joined the company in January 2014 as the Company’s Executive Vice President of Clinical Development.