CARLSBAD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (NYSE American and TASE: LCTX), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel cell therapies for unmet medical needs, today announced that it has been awarded a new $670,621 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to advance its Vision Restoration Program, the Company’s proprietary and innovative program generating 3-dimensional human retinal tissue derived from pluripotent cells. Lineage’s Vision Restoration Program aims to address a wide range of severe retinal degenerative conditions including retinitis pigmentosa, advanced forms of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and ocular trauma. The program and its award are distinct from OpRegen®, the Company’s clinical-stage cell therapy program which features the sub-retinal delivery of retinal pigment epithelium cells for the treatment of dry-AMD.
“Grants for ophthalmology research from the NIH are highly competitive and we believe this new award and funding of our Vision Restoration Program serves as external validation of the potential of our approach to restore retinal tissue and provides continued proof of progress which builds upon prior SBIR grant awards received to date,” stated Francois Binette, Ph.D., Sr. Vice President and Head of Global Development at Lineage Cell Therapeutics.
Early data from Lineage’s Vision Restoration Program were presented at the 2019 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting (ARVO 2019). The data presented provided evidence that retinal tissue produced in Lineage’s laboratory from pluripotent cell lines was able to engraft tumor-free in a rat model for severe retinal degeneration and showed evidence of functional improvement. This work was done in collaboration with the University of California Irvine (Magdalene J. Seiler, Ph.D., co-PI). In a separate presentation, Lineage demonstrated the ability to generate high quality retinal organoid tissue with a high number of maturing rod and cone photoreceptors from our highly characterized cGMP-grade pluripotent cell lines. Additional data from this project has been accepted for a podium presentation at the Society for Neuroscience’s 49th Annual Scientific Meeting, Neuroscience 2019, taking place October 19-23, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
The Vision Restoration Program is a collaborative effort led by Lineage’s Principal Investigator Igor O. Nasonkin Ph.D., with Simon Petersen-Jones, DVET MED, PHD, DECVO, Professor and Donald R. Meyers and William E. Dunlap Endowed Chair in Canine Health at Michigan State University, and Magdalene J. Seiler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Department of Ophthalmology, Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at the University of California.
About Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc.
Lineage Cell Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel cell therapies for unmet medical needs. Lineage’s programs are based on its proprietary cell-based therapy platform and associated development and manufacturing capabilities. With this platform Lineage develops and manufactures specialized, terminally-differentiated human cells from its pluripotent and progenitor cell starting materials. These differentiated cells are developed either to replace or support cells that are dysfunctional or absent due to degenerative disease or traumatic injury or administered as a means of helping the body mount an effective immune response to cancer. Lineage’s clinical assets include (i) OpRegen®, a retinal pigment epithelium transplant therapy in Phase I/IIa development for the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in the developed world; (ii) OPC1, an oligodendrocyte progenitor cell therapy in Phase I/IIa development for the treatment of acute spinal cord injuries; and (iii) VAC2, an allogeneic cancer immunotherapy of antigen-presenting dendritic cells currently in Phase I development for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. For more information, please visit www.lineagecell.com or follow the Company on Twitter @LineageCell.
Lineage cautions you that all statements, other than statements of historical facts, contained in this press release, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements, in some cases, can be identified by terms such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “design,” “intend,” “expect,” “could,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “seek,” “should,” “would,” “contemplate,” “project,” “target,” “tend to,” or the negative version of these words and similar expressions. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the potential progress of Lineage’s Vision Restoration Program. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Lineage’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements in this press release, including risks and uncertainties inherent in Lineage’s business and other risks described in Lineage’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Lineage’s forward-looking statements are based upon its current expectations and involve assumptions that may never materialize or may prove to be incorrect. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. Further information regarding these and other risks is included under the heading “Risk Factors” in Lineage’s periodic reports filed with the SEC, including Lineage’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 14, 2019 and its other reports, which are available from the SEC’s website. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they were made. Lineage undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made, except as required by law.