It is expected that by 2020, 196 million people worldwide will suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Despite significant efforts there are still no therapies to either prevent or cure AMD.
In the ideal scenario, patients would be diagnosed at the very early stages of the disease and treated immediately in order to prevent the progression of the disease and the death of the cells in the retina. Unfortunately, our ability to do so is critically limited by the lack of understanding of the early pathophysiological events leading to AMD. This in turn is a consequence of the lack of experimental models capable of fully recreating the characteristics of the human disease. On the other hand, the lack of preventive treatments has led to an increasing number of patients with advanced stages of AMD and severe vision loss. Addressing the needs of these patients would require a treatment aimed at regenerating the cells already loss to the disease rather than preventing their death.
At CellSight, one of our most immediate goals is to develop innovative stem cell-based technologies to both prevent and cure AMD.