Navigation Links
New company applies regenerative medicine to corneal transplantation

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Jan. 8, 2013 Ocular Systems, Inc. (OSI), Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the North Carolina Eye Bank have formed a new company based on a promising new technology aimed at engineering replacement corneas in the lab for transplantation.

"The global need for corneal tissue for transplantation far exceeds the supply," said Dean Vavra, director of the North Carolina Eye Bank. "We are excited to be part of this innovative approach to sight restoration that has the potential to increase the availability of corneal tissue."

The new approach, not yet tested in patients, involves isolating cells from "banked" donor corneas to grow replacement corneal tissue in the lab. The advantage is that cells from a single donor could potentially benefit multiple patients with impaired vision.

The company, formed by OSI, the sponsor and initial funder of the project, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, whose Institute for Regenerative Medicine is conducting the research, and the North Carolina Eye Bank, is an example of the type of collaboration that is a strategic goal of the Piedmont Triad Research Park (PTRP). Also assisting with funding was the N.C. Biotechnology Center through a Collaborative Funding Grant.

The goal of the startup company, known as HCEC, LLC (Human Cultured Endothelial Cells), is to advance the technology to the next level, which includes conducting the additional studies needed to apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin studies in human patients. This is expected to take several years.

"Today's announcement is the culmination of more than four years of planning and research," said OSI CEO Jerry Barker, who is the new company's managing partner. "We believe this innovative initiative has the potential to change the face of corneal transplantation. The formation of HCEC, LLC will enable the team to expedite research and development efforts and move toward commercialization at a much faster pace."

The cornea is the transparent dome at the front of the eye that helps with focus. The cells that line the inside of the cornea, known as corneal endothelial cells (CECs), pump fluid out of the cornea. If these cells become diseased or damaged, vision is blurred. Because CECs cannot repair themselves, the standard treatment is to replace the cornea or cells with tissue from a cadaveric donor.

The current surgical technique is to replace a patient's damaged CECs with a very thin layer of tissue containing cells from a cadaveric donor cornea. The new cells pump fluid out of the cornea, restoring corneal clarity. With the advent of this procedure, there has been increased demand for donor tissue with healthy CECs. The goal of the new partnership is use regenerative medicine technology to meet this increased demand.

"The technique of bioengineering replacement tissues using cells and scaffolds can theoretically be applied to almost any tissue in the body," said Anthony Atala, M.D., director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. "We are delighted to be OSI's academic partner in this project."

"It is exciting that a collaboration based in the Piedmont Triad research Park, right her in Winston-Salem, has the potential to create products that can bring benefits to patients throughout the world," said Eric Tomlinson D.Sc., Ph.D., PTRP president and Chief Innovation Officer at Wake Forest Baptist. "This project is an example of the innovation that can be sparked in a research-park environment."

Shay Soker, Ph.D., professor of regenerative medicine at Wake Forest Baptist, is the lead scientist for the project. Other team members are Tracy Criswell, Ph.D., instructor of regenerative medicine; Ocular Systems Inc. scientists Jin San Choi, Ph.D., and Belinda Wagner, Ph.D.; and Wake Forest Baptist Department of Ophthalmology physicians Craig Greven, M.D., chair, Matthew Giegengack, M.D., assistant professor, and Keith Walter, M.D., associate professor.


Contact: Karen Richardson
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Related medicine news :

1. High-Low Exam Table Designed by the Brewer Company Now Offered by
2. Application Development Company Anahata Technologies Announces CentOS As Server OS Of Choice For Enterprise Applications
3. Probiotic Action, Best Treatment for Acne Company, Commends Doctor’s Tips to Prevent Dry Skin
4. Reserve Life Nutrition, LLC, Announces Distribution Company
5. Greenix Pest Control, a Green Pest Control Company, Wins Angie's List Coveted Super Service Award
6. SingleSource Background Company Shares Five Hiring Mistakes to Avoid in 2013
7. Minnesota Fitness Company Announces Its 2013 Weight Loss Tips!
8. The J. Rich Company Capitalizes on Tenants’ Office Market for Non-Profit Client, Albany Park Community Center
9. Corporate Whistle Blower Center Now Urges Physicians, Medical Device or Drug Insiders With Proof A Company Knowingly Sold A Bad Product to Become a Whistleblower
10. Company Announces Best Electric Toothbrush 2013
11. USHEALTH Group, Inc. Acquires Enterprise Life Insurance Company
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse ... Market. Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, ... quality-focused health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a ... has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services ... accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing ... open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in ... to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... delivery system that we intend to develop to enable prevention of a major ... to severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, ... ... OnSite Wellness, has been named one of Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in ... Best and Brightest in Wellness® awards program on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... Oct. 2, 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... for the third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October ... on that day with the investment community and media ... The conference call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern ... a live webcast of the conference call through a ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... 28, 2017 Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early ... of wearable and home sensors for real-time monitoring of ... Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on disruptive health solutions ... affordable analytical system to record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, ... ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... Sept. 22, 2017 Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) ... letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ... sirukumab for the treatment of moderately to severely active ... clinical data are needed to further evaluate the safety ... active RA. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: