19.04.2012 - British researchers have shown for the first time that transplanting photoreceptors into the eyes of blind mice can restore their vision.
London – The findings reported in Nature suggests that transplanting light-sensitive nerve cells that line the back of the eye could form the basis of a new treatment to restore sight in people with degenerative eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa and diabetes-related blindness. The team, led by Professor Robin Ali with researchers at University College London, injected immature cells from young healthy mice directly into the retinas of adult mice that lacked functional rod-photoreceptors. After four to six weeks, the transplanted cells appeared to be functioning almost as well as normal rod-photoreceptor cells and had formed the connections needed to transmit visual information to the brain. The researchers also tested the vision of the treated mice in a dimly lit maze. Those mice with newly transplanted rod cells were able to use a visual cue to quickly find a hidden platform in the maze whereas untreated mice were able to find the hidden platform only by chance after extensive exploration of the maze. "We've shown for the first time that transplanted photoreceptor cells can integrate successfully with the existing retinal circuitry and truly improve vision. We're hopeful that we will soon be able to replicate this success with photoreceptors derived from embryonic stem cells and eventually to develop human trials.
03.07.2015 Biotech giant Biogen is investing CHF 1bn in a new pharmaceutical production plant in the Swiss town of Luterbach. Noted as one of the world’s oldest biotech firms, the new plant will create up to 400 jobs.
02.07.2015 Dutch biotech Amarna and Austrian Biomarker research centre CBmed have joined forces to develop several immunotherapies, including therapies against cancer and diabetes type 2. The joint venture will develop Amarna’s next generation viral vector platform.
30.06.2015 Pharma giant Novartis has bumped up its neuroscience portfolio with the recent purchase of Australian biotech Spinifex for a US$200m upfront payment plus US$500 in milestone payments. The acquisition is centred on Spinifex’ mid-stage pain drug EMA401.
24.06.2015 Swedish scientists have created artificial neurons that are capable of mimicking the function of human nerve cells. The researchers hope that, once minituarised, they may one day be used to restore disturbed neural function.
22.06.2015 For the 31st time, the ACHEMA has drawn the global chemical engineering and the process industry to Frankfurt. Although still overshadowed by petrol, the biobased economy is getting ready to step out into the limelight.
12.06.2015 The high-potential cancer immunotherapy market is fiercely fought, and small companies have trouble making their mark. Nordic companies Targovax and Oncos have joined forces to create a Nordic immuno-oncology champion named Polaris.
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