Policy & Regulation
Lineage Cell Therapeutics Awarded NIH Grant for Innovative Vision Restoration Program
14 August 2019 - - US-based clinical-stage biotechnology company Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (NYSE American: LCTX) (TASE: LCTX) has been awarded a new USD 670,621 Small Business Innovation Research grant to advance its Vision Restoration Program, the company's proprietary and innovative program generating 3-dimensional human retinal tissue derived from pluripotent cells, the company said.

Lineage's Vision Restoration Program aims to address a range of severe retinal degenerative conditions including retinitis pigmentosa, advanced forms of age-related macular degeneration, and ocular trauma.

The program and its award are distinct from OpRegen, the company's clinical-stage cell therapy programme which features the sub-retinal delivery of retinal pigment epithelium cells for the treatment of dry-AMD.

Early data from Lineage's Vision Restoration Program were presented at the 2019 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology annual meeting (ARVO 2019).

The data presented provided evidence that retinal tissue produced in Lineage's laboratory from pluripotent cell lines was able to engraft tumor-free in a rat model for severe retinal degeneration and showed evidence of functional improvement.

This work was done in collaboration with the University of California Irvine (Magdalene J. Seiler, Ph.D., co-PI).

In a separate presentation, Lineage demonstrated the ability to generate high quality retinal organoid tissue with a high number of maturing rod and cone photoreceptors from our highly characterized cGMP-grade pluripotent cell lines.

Additional data from this project has been accepted for a podium presentation at the Society for Neuroscience's 49th Annual Scientific Meeting, Neuroscience 2019, taking place October 19-23, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.

The Vision Restoration Program is a collaborative effort led by Lineage's Principal Investigator Igor O. Nasonkin Ph.D., with Simon Petersen-Jones, DVET MED, PHD, DECVO, Professor and Donald R. Meyers and William E. Dunlap Endowed chair in Canine Health at Michigan State University, and Magdalene J. Seiler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Ophthalmology, Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at the University of California.

Lineage Cell Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel cell therapies for unmet medical needs.

Lineage's programmes are based on its proprietary cell-based therapy platform and associated development and manufacturing capabilities.

With this platform Lineage develops and manufactures specialized, terminally-differentiated human cells from its pluripotent and progenitor cell starting materials.

These differentiated cells are developed either to replace or support cells that are dysfunctional or absent due to degenerative disease or traumatic injury or administered as a means of helping the body mount an effective immune response to cancer.

Lineage's clinical assets include OpRegen, a retinal pigment epithelium transplant therapy in Phase I/IIa development for the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration, a cause of blindness in the developed world; OPC1, an oligodendrocyte progenitor cell therapy in Phase I/IIa development for the treatment of acute spinal cord injuries; and VAC2, an allogeneic cancer immunotherapy of antigen-presenting dendritic cells currently in Phase I development for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.