AIVITA Biomedical Inc., a biotech company that specializes in new ways of using stem cells, recently conducted a preclinical study. Using human stem cells that they created, researchers created and tested a “total retina patch” for vision loss on immunodeficient rats with advanced stages of retinal degeneration. The total retina patch helped fix the structure of their damaged retinas, leading to the observed improvement in visual function, and is demonstrating long-term stability. The patch made new photoreceptors and neuronal processes that integrated into the rats. This preclinical study shows the potential of this retina patch as a possible treatment path for retinal degenerative conditions like retinitis pigmentosa (RP).
What this means for Usher syndrome: As vision loss in Usher Syndrome is caused by retinitis pigmentosa (RP), this is a potential treatment that could help improve visual function. It is still early in its research, but it has shown some success in animal models.