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.
16.12.2014 Two consortia combined of 144 European companies, research institutes and universities have been selected for funding by the EIT in the areas of health and raw materials. Both clusters are set to acquire €1.1bn over the next seven years.
10.12.2014 When it comes to the biggest investors in Research and Development (R&D) Swiss pharma top dogs Novartis and Roche have defended their positioning among the top ten companies worldwide – according to a recently published EU study.
05.12.2014 Austrian contract research company VTU has entered into a development and commercialisation agreement with US company RCT. The partners want to combine both companies' Pichia pastoris protein production technologies under VTU's roof.
03.12.2014 Danish biotech pharma Ascendis has successfully completed a €48m Series D financing round. The funding is expected to support its late-stage clinical trials to push its lead drug into Phase III trials.
01.12.2014 In spite of innovative new medicines on the market, the UK and Germany lag behind other countries and continue to use older medicines - especially in the treatment of cancer. French and Spanish patients, on the other hand, benefit much earlier from medical innovation.
28.11.2014 The first gene therapy for a rare genetic condition — UniQure's Glybera — is on its way to the European market. But there is a hefty price tag: Chiesi, responsible for the marketing of the orphan drug, is asking for a record price of €1.1m per patient.