Cellular Dynamics receives contract to make eye cells

Cellular Dynamics International(CDI) is getting a $1.2 million contract from the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, as part of an effort to fight macular degeneration, a condition that leads to loss of vision.

By reprogramming skin and blood samples from patients with age-related macular degeneration, CDI will create induced pluripotent stem cells and will turn them into human retina cells. The cells will be put back into the patient's eyes to treat the disorder.

Ten patients have been chosen for a pilot study of the process by the National Eye Institute, CDI said.

The Madison company said the process, called autologous cellular therapy, will be the first in the U.S. using a patient's own reprogrammed cells.

Publicly traded CDI was founded by UW-Madison stem cell pioneer James Thomson in 2004 and manufactures large quantities of human stem cells for drug discovery, safety screening and for stem cell banks.

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Cellular Dynamics receives contract to make eye cells

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