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Professor Peter J. Coffey's stem cell therapy for Age-Related Macular Degeneration expected to begin clinical trials in 2012
Date:10/11/2011

NEW YORK, NY -- The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) announced today that a British stem cell scientist working to cure blindness will be the first recipient of The New York Stem Cell Foundation Robertson Prize in Stem Cell Research, a $200,000 prize awarded annually for extraordinary achievement in translational stem cell research.

The award will go to Professor Peter J. Coffey, DPhil, Director of the London Project to Cure Blindness and Professor of Cellular Therapy and Visual Sciences at the Institute of Ophthalmology in London, for his pioneering work in the use of human embryonic stem cells to cure Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a common form of blindness.

The prize will be presented to Professor Coffey in a ceremony Tuesday evening in New York City by Susan L. Solomon, CEO of The New York Stem Cell Foundation, and Zach W. Hall, former Director of the National Institutes for Health (NIH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and former President of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Professor Coffey's research has demonstrated that stem cell-based therapy halted visual deterioration in models of AMD, a currently untreatable form of blindness affecting millions of people across the globe. Clinical trials using the therapy are expected to begin in 2012.

"The use of stem cells in cell-replacement therapy is expected to dramatically change how we treat degenerative diseases and other chronic conditions," said Ms. Solomon. "Peter Coffey's seminal research to cure a common form of age-related blindness is a wonderful example of the promise of stem cell science."

"I congratulate Dr. Coffey and his team on their hard work and commitment to improving the lives of millions afflicted with Age-Related Macular Degeneration," said Julian H. Robertson, Jr. "The NYSCF Robertson Stem Cell Prize was created to recognize and support the work of scientists like Dr. Coffey, whos
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Contact: Diane Mathis Marr
dmathismarr@nyscf.org
212-365-7435
New York Stem Cell Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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