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ReNeuron and Schepens stem cell patent

ReNeuron Group has signed a patent and know-how license agreement with Schepens Eye Research Institute

ReNeuron Group has signed a patent and know-how license agreement with Schepens Eye Research Institute Boston, US, for its ReN003 stem cell therapy programme focused on diseases of the retina. 

Under the agreement, ReNeuron will fund the ReN003 programme and will pay Schepens license maintenance fees, as well as milestone and royalty payments based on clinical and commercial success with the therapies developed. 

The initial phase of ReNeuron's collaboration with Schepens has benefited from an industrial grant from a major US speciality healthcare company and ReNeuron intends to build upon this programme-specific funding as further late pre-clinical data emerges over the coming months. 

Subject to regulatory advice and the results of IND-enabling late pre-clinical studies, the ReN003 programme is expected to enter its clinical phase in approximately 18 months. Importantly, although retinitis pigmentosa is the initial target disease, the hRPCs developed in the programme will almost certainly be applicable as cell therapy candidates for other blindness-causing diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. 

Dr Michael Young, associate scientist at Schepens, associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and lead investigator on ReNeuron's collaboration with Schepens, said: "We are delighted to be continuing our collaboration with ReNeuron under this new agreement, bringing us closer to the day when blindness can be treated with stem cells." 

Schepens recently announced that it is to join forces with the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston to create the world's largest pre-clinical and clinical ophthalmology research centre. 

16th June 2011

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