MARLBOROUGH, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Advanced Cell Technology, Inc., (OTCBB: OCAT) today announced the change of its company name to Ocata Therapeutics, Inc., effective immediately. The change, which has been approved by the Company’s shareholders, reflects the Company’s focus on the development of regenerative cell therapeutics for the treatment of ophthalmic diseases. “Ocata” is a Native American name for “healer,” a term associated with repair and regeneration as opposed to merely slowing the progression of disease, or treatment of symptoms.
Dr. Paul Wotton, President and CEO of Ocata Therapeutics, said: “This is a time of transformation for our company as we continue to advance our technology leadership position in Regenerative Ophthalmology. With that, we determined it was important to select a company name that best reflects our focus going forward. As we prepare to initiate Phase 2 clinical trials for Stargardt’s macular degeneration (SMD) and dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), we are positioning Ocata to lead the way in developing safe and effective therapies for those suffering from either disease.”
In October, the Company announced results from two Phase 1/2 clinical trials published in The Lancet. The study demonstrated positive first time, mid- to long-term safety results and signs of visual improvement following transplantation of differentiated retinal pigment epithelium cells (RPE) derived from stem cells, for the treatment of both AMD and SMD. There are currently no approved treatments for either disease.
About Ocata Therapeutics, Inc.
Ocata Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of regenerative ophthalmology therapeutics. Ocata’s most advanced products are in clinical trials for the treatment of Stargardt’s macular degeneration, dry age-related macular degeneration, and myopic macular degeneration. Ocata’s intellectual property portfolio includes pluripotent stem cell platforms – hESC and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) – and other cell therapy research programs. For more information, visit www.ocata.com.
About Age-related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 50. Every year in the USA there are 1.8 million patients newly diagnosed with dry AMD which occurs when light-sensitive photoreceptor cells in the macula, located in the center of the retina, slowly break down, causing vision loss as a result. Photoreceptor breakdown is a consequence of loss or damage to the RPE layer. As the disease progresses, patients may have difficulty reading and recognizing faces. There is currently no proven medical therapy for dry AMD and the projected number of people worldwide with age-related macular degeneration in 2020 is 196 million, increasing to 288 million in 2040 underscoring the urgent need for new treatments.
About Stargardt’s Disease
Stargardt’s macular degeneration is a form of juvenile macular degeneration that affects vision in children and young adults between the ages of six and 20, with a prevalence of approximately one in 10,000 people in the United States. It is an orphan disease and loss of vision is an inevitable aspect of SMD, with more than half of the patients experiencing vision loss in the range of 20/200-20/400. Like dry AMD, it occurs as a result of damage to the RPE layer and there are no treatments currently approved to prevent or slow the vision loss associated with SMD.
All statements, other than historical facts, contained in this news release, including statements regarding the relevance and applicability of clinical trials, potential new applications of and expanded indications covering Ocata’s technology, the effect of Ocata’s products on the medical needs and quality of life of study subjects or other patients, Ocata’s potential product pipeline and development efforts, and any other statements about Ocata’s future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, results 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: the fact that Ocata has no product revenue and no products approved for marketing; Ocata’s limited operating history;, the need for and limited sources of future capital; potential failures or delays in obtaining regulatory approval of products; risks inherent in the development and commercialization of potential products; reliance on new and unproven technology in the development of products; the need to protect Ocata’s intellectual property; the challenges associated with conducting and enrolling clinical trials; the risk that the results of clinical trials may not support the Company’s product candidate claims; even if approved, the risk that physicians and patients may not accept or use Ocata’s products; Ocata’s reliance on third parties to conduct its clinical trials and to formulate and manufacture its product candidates; 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 Ocata’s periodic reports, including the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2014. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions, and expectations of Ocata’s management at the time they are made, and Ocata 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 Ocata’s management at the time they are made, and Ocata 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 Ocata’s future clinical trials will be successful or that the results of previous clinical studies will lead to commercialization or products or therapies.