Guildford, UK, 10 August 2009: ReNeuron Group plc (LSE: RENE.L) today announces the publication of two papers regarding pre-clinical data with its ReN003 stem cell therapy programme for diseases of the retina. Both papers relate to research conducted by Dr Michael Young and colleagues at the Schepens Eye Research Institute at Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
The papers, published in the journals Experimental Eye Research1 and Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science2, describe the growth kinetics and molecular characterisation of ReNeuron’s ReN003 human retinal progenitor cells and their ability to differentiate along the photoreceptor lineage, both in vitro and in vivo. Following transplantation in a rodent model of damaged retina, the ReN003 cells were seen to integrate with the host retinal tissue and differentiate to express the protein rhodopsin, a marker for the light-sensitive rod cells found in healthy retina.
Dr John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer of ReNeuron, said: “We are pleased to see the acceptance for publication of these early positive pre-clinical data with our ReN003 retinal stem cell line in separate peer reviewed journals. The results show the potential of ReN003 cells to treat blindness-causing diseases characterised by damage to the retina, such as retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.”
1. Growth kinetics and transplantation of human retinal progenitor cells Aftab, U., et al., Exp. Eye. Res. (2009) [in press]
2. Molecular characterisation of human retinal progenitor cells Schmitt, S., et al., Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. (2009) [in press]
Notes to editors
About the Schepens Eye Research Institute
Schepens Eye Research Institute fights blindness by developing new technologies, therapies and knowledge to preserve and restore vision. Through a continuum of discovery, the Institute works toward a future in which blindness is prevented, alleviated, and, ultimately, cured.
Founded in 1950 by famed retinal surgeon Charles L. Schepens, M.D., Schepens Eye Research Institute is the largest independent eye research institute in the United States and an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Since its inception, the Institute has trained more than 600 postdoctoral fellows in various disciplines of eye research; trained more than 500 eye surgeons who now practice around the world; and published more than 4,600 scientific papers and books about health and eye disease.
ReNeuron is a leading, UK-based stem cell business. Its primary objective is the development of stem cell therapies targeting areas of significant unmet or poorly met medical need. ReNeuron recently received regulatory approval to commence a Phase I clinical trial in the UK with its lead ReN001 stem cell therapy for disabled stroke patients.
The Company is developing stem cell therapies for a number of other conditions, including peripheral arterial disease and diseases of the retina. ReNeuron has also developed a range of stem cell lines for non-therapeutic applications – its ReNcell® products for use in academic and commercial research. The Company’s ReNcell®CX and ReNcell®VM neural cell lines are marketed worldwide under license by USA-based Millipore Corporation.
ReNeuron’s shares are traded on the London AIM market under the symbol RENE.L. Further information on ReNeuron and its products can be found at www.reneuron.com. This announcement contains forward-looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results of operations and business achievements/performance of ReNeuron and certain of the plans and objectives of management of ReNeuron with respect thereto. These statements may generally, but not always, be identified by the use of words such as “should”, “expects”, “estimates”, “believes” or similar expressions. This announcement also contains forward-looking statements attributed to certain third parties relating to their estimates regarding the growth of markets and demand for products. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they reflect ReNeuron’s current expectations and assumptions as to future events and circumstances that may not prove accurate. A number of factors could cause ReNeuron’s actual financial condition, results of operations and business achievements/performance to differ materially from the estimates made or implied in such forward-looking statements and, accordingly, reliance should not be placed on such statements.
Enquiries: Michael Hunt, Chief Executive Officer – ReNeuron +44 (0) 1483 302560
Dr John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer – ReNeuron
Jonathan Birt, Susan Quigley – Financial Dynamics +44 (0) 20 7831 3113
Stewart Wallace, Adam Cowen – Collins Stewart +44 (0) 20 7523 8350