Cellular Dynamics sets sights on macular degeneration treatment

A $1.2 million contract from the National Eye Institute will allow Madison-based Cellular Dynamics International to research macular degeneration, a condition that causes vision loss. Working with 10 macular degeneration patients chosen for the study, CDI will use a process called autologous cellular therapy to create induced pluripotent stem cells from their blood and skin samples and reprogram those cells into human retina cells. The new cells will then be reinserted into the patients’ eyes to treat the disease. It is the first study of its kind in the U.S. using patients’ own reprogrammed cells.