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Mesoblast Cleared to Begin First Phase 2 Clinical Trial for Eye Diseases
Date:10/24/2011

d Phase 2 trial will recruit 18 patients at the Singapore National Eye Centre. The trial will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a single intraocular injection of Mesoblast's allogeneic Mesenchymal Precursor Cells (MPCs) combined with the anti-VEGF agent Lucentis in newly-diagnosed wet AMD patients. Controls will receive Lucentis alone. The trial will seek to establish if the allogeneic MPC treatment reduces the need for repeated monthly injections of Lucentis whilst improving visual acuity and quality of life.

Mesoblast Chief Executive, Professor Silviu Itescu, said: "Our preclinical results to date suggest that a single injection of Mesoblast's allogeneic cells may be effective for patients with wet AMD, either in combination with an anti-VEGF agent for the form seen in North America/Europe or in combination with photodynamic therapy for the PCV form seen in Asia.  

"Initiating this Phase 2 trial in Singapore will help lay the foundation for us to launch larger trials in parallel for wet AMD in both Asian and non-Asian populations.  

"This signals a clinical strategy by Mesoblast to increasingly target the emerging and very accessible large Asian healthcare markets. This is in line with our broader corporate strategy, including our recent manufacturing agreement with Lonza which provides Mesoblast with exclusive access to Lonza's cell therapy facilities in Singapore for the manufacture of allogeneic products," Professor Itescu added.

About Mesoblast

Mesoblast Limited (ASX: MSB) is a world leader in commercialising biologic products for the broad field of regenerative medicine. Mesoblast has the worldwide exclusive rights for a series of patents and technologies developed over more than 10 years relating to the identification, extraction, culture and uses of adult Mesenchymal Precursor Cells (MPCs). www.mesoblast.com

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