Masayo Takahashi, MD, PhD, RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research & Kobe City Eye Hospital, Kobe, Japan, provides an overview of clinical research evaluating the safety of subretinal implantation of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In the first safety study, autologous iPSCs were derived from skin fibroblasts of patients and then differentiated and implanted as RPE cell sheets, while later studies have used human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched allogeneic iPSCs. Dr Takahashi also describes a planned Phase II clinical trial which will aim to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of allogeneic iPSC-derived RPE in various diseases caused by damage to the RPE. This interview took place during the American Society for Cell & Gene Therapy 24th Annual Meeting 2021.
Masayo Takahashi is the President of Vision Care Inc. and VVCT Inc., Kobe, Japan