Today Technology Review published the announcement by Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) that they have begun the first round of human stem cell trials for the treatment of blindness in California.
The first two trial patients, who have Macular Degeneration, were treated with stem cell procedures last Tuesday. The patients remain unnamed and it is of course too soon to tell if the treatment works.
The main thing is that with human trials, treatments for blindness from various circumstances may be that little closer.
ACT has faced many problems getting this far, it has several times laid off staff as protestors scared away investors, by threatening its business because of their anti abortion stance. Protestors claimed the company used aborted fetal stem cells in their research. Such scares caused the company to reduce its research programs to concentrate on niche areas. Retinal blindness being a core area for research.
Many people will be looking toward Southern California in the hope that the research has paid dividends in the next few months and years.
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