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ACT Announces Oregon Health & Science University as Clinical Trial Site for its Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial Using hESC-Derived RPE Cells for Macular Degeneration
Date:5/16/2011

MARLBOROUGH, Mass., May 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. ("ACT"; OTCBB: ACTC), a leader in the field of regenerative medicine, announced today that the Casey Eye Institute (CEI) at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Ore., has received institutional review board (IRB) approval to be a site for its Phase 1/2 human clinical trial for Stargardt's Macular Dystrophy (SMD) using retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The Phase 1/2 trial will be prospective, open-label study designed to determine the safety and tolerability of the RPE cells following sub-retinal transplantation into patients with SMD.  

"We are pleased that OHSU's Casey Eye Institute has agreed to participate as a site for this study that should help us better understand the role that RPE cells can play in the treatment of SMD," said Gary Rabin, interim chairman and CEO of ACT.  "This agreement marks another milestone in our history of successful collaboration with CEI on our RPE program.  The promising data from the collaboration, begun in 2007, helped pave the way for this trial, and we look forward to starting it in the coming weeks."

"We are honored to have been designated as a site for this groundbreaking clinical trial," said

Peter J. Francis, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Co-Director of the Oregon Retinal Degeneration Center at the Casey Eye Institute. "Our prior collaborative projects with ACT on its RPE program have generated promising results, and we are pleased to be a part of this trial for an exciting potential new treatment for SMD, using hESC-derived RPE cells."

Additional details on this study, for which the Jules Stein Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles has also received IRB approval, can be found on http://clinicaltrials.gov/; ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01345006.

About macular degeneration and SMD

Degenerative diseases of the retina are among the most common causes of untreatable blindness in the world.  As many as thirty million people in the United States and Europe suffer from macular degeneration, which represents a $25-30 billion worldwide market that has yet to be effectively addressed.  

Stargardt's Macular Dystrophy (SMD) is one of the most common forms of macular degeneration in the world.  SMD causes progressive vision loss, usually starting in children between 10 to 20 years of age.  Eventually, blindness results from photoreceptor loss associated with degeneration in the pigmented layer of the retina, called the retinal pigment epithelium or RPE cell layer.

About Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.

Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. is a biotechnology company applying cellular technology in the field of regenerative medicine. For more information, visit http://www.advancedcell.com.

About Casey Eye Institute

As part of Oregon Health & Science University, the Casey Eye Institute is an academic regional eye center. It is named after James and George Casey, founders of United Parcel Service. The Casey Eye Institute is also one of only seven regional eye research centers in the nation sponsored by Research to Prevent Blindness, the world's leading voluntary organization in support of eye research. The Casey Eye Institute has operated the Elks Children's Eye Clinic since 1949, thanks to the generous support of the Oregon State Elks Association. www.ohsu.edu

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this news release regarding future financial and operating results, future growth in research and development programs, potential applications of our technology, opportunities for the company and any other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words "will," "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates," and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including: limited operating history, need for future capital, risks inherent in the development and commercialization of potential products, protection of our intellectual property, and economic conditions generally. Additional information on potential factors that could affect our results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in the company's periodic reports, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010.  Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions, and expectations of the company's management at the time they are made, and the company does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions, expectations, or other circumstances should change. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions, and expectations of the company's management at the time they are made, and the company does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions, expectations, or other circumstances should change. There can be no assurance that the Company's clinical trials will be successful.

Contact:

Investors:
CEOcast, Inc., James Young, 212-732-4300

Press:
ACT Corporate Communications, Bill Douglass, 646-450-3615
or:
Russo Partners, Martina Schwarzkopf, Ph.D., 212-845-4292


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SOURCE Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.
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