Retinal degenerative diseases are the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Replacing lost retinal cells via stem cell-based therapies is an exciting, rapidly advancing area of translational research that has already entered the clinic. Here, we review the status of these clinical efforts for several significant retinal diseases, describe the challenges involved and discuss how basic developmental studies have contributed to and are needed to advance clinical goals.
The authors declare no competing or financial interests.
The authors were supported by the New York State Empire Stem Cell Fund (NYSTEM C028504), the National Eye Institute (R01EY022079), the Macula Vision Research Foundation, and the Neural Stem Cell Institute Regenerative Research Foundation. The opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Empire State Stem Cell Board, the New York State Department of Health, the State of New York, or any other funding agency. Deposited in PMC for release after 12 months.