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NEI publishes town hall report on cell-based products for treating retinal disease

May 4, 2023

Stem cell-based therapies hold great promise for replacing lost or damaged cells in the eye and restoring vision.  

The National Eye Institute has published "Stem cell sources and characterization in the development of cell-based products for treating retinal disease: An NEI town hall report." Based on input from subject matter experts, the report provides guidance for research in support of future clinical trials.


“This paper helps summarize considerations for making stem cells into a therapeutic reality,” said Tom Greenwell, Ph.D., who directs the NEI Office of Regenerative Medicine
The report addresses barriers to advancing the field of regenerative medicine for vision as well as opportunities to accelerate research. Topics include quality control, sourcing of stem cells, genetic modification and cellular reprogramming, immune considerations, and the therapeutic potential of extracellular vesicles—cell-secreted sacs that can contain regenerative factors. 
The town hall took place at the 2022 meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. 

The report is available free for download from PubMed Central
Fortress AM, Miyagishima KJ, Reed AA, et al. Stem cell sources and characterization in the development of cell-based products for treating retinal disease: An NEI Town Hall report. Stem Cell Res Ther. Mar 29 2023;14(1):53. doi:10.1186/s13287-023-03282-y

NEI leads the federal government’s efforts to eliminate vision loss and improve quality of life through vision research…driving innovation, fostering collaboration, expanding the vision workforce, and educating the public and key stakeholders. NEI supports basic and clinical science programs to develop sight-saving treatments and to broaden opportunities for people with vision impairment. For more information, visit  

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit 

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