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ACT Announces First Patients Enrolled in Two Clinical Trials Using Embryonic Stem Cells to Treat Stargardt's Disease and Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Date:6/16/2011

MARLBOROUGH, Mass., June 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. ("ACT"; OTCBB: ACTC), a leader in the field of regenerative medicine, announced today the enrollment of the first patients in its two Phase 1/2 clinical trials for Stargardt's Macular Dystrophy (SMD) and Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Dry AMD) using retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The patients were enrolled at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

The Phase 1/2 trials are prospective, open-label studies primarily designed to determine the safety and tolerability of the RPE cells following sub-retinal transplantation into patients with SMD and Dry AMD. Each study will enroll 12 patients with cohorts of three patients in an ascending dosage format. The primary endpoint of both studies is to determine the safety and tolerability of hESC-derived RPE cells at 12 months.

"The enrollment of the first patients in our two clinical trials marks an important step forward for the field of regenerative medicine," said Gary Rabin, interim chairman and CEO of ACT. "We are very pleased with the progress that has been made toward bringing this ground-breaking technology to the patients who need it most.  If these therapies work as we hope they will, particularly with small volumes of cells, then we should be in an excellent position to take advantage of our patented techniques for manufacturing large numbers of doses of RPE cells that can be conveniently stored and shipped to clinicians following the basic manufacturing and distribution systems already familiar to pharmaceutical and biotech companies."

Principal investigator Steven Schwartz, M.D., Ahmanson Professor of Ophthalmology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and retina division chief at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA, said, "These trials mark a significant step toward addressing what is on
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