ACT misadventures threaten the success of clinical trials

Publié le : 31 January 2014

 Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) is the American Company carrying out the only international clinical trial using embryo stem cells in Europe (London). By the end of January, it must announce the preliminary safety results regarding treatments used for the management of macular diseases. 

Several "financial faux-pas" have damaged ACT’s clinical trials. On 22 January 2014, its General Manager, Gary Rabin, had to be sacked following illegal financial operations. This episode came in the wake of "years of repeated bankruptcy". Moreover, this week the company announced its intention to start the next round of clinical trials in the second half of 2014. However, according to the company’s latest quarterly report, the required funds are not available.

Furthermore, other clinical trials currently underway are about to steal ACT’s limelight. This focuses essentially on the "London Project to Cure Blindness", which has developed treatment derived from embryo stem cells for people aged 50 and over. The other initiative has been put forward by ophthalmologist, Masayo Takahashi at the RIKEN Centre in Kobé (Japan), which uses induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS). The advantage of IPS cells over embryo stem cells is that the former are less likely to trigger immune responses because they are extracted from the patient’s own tissues.

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