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Israeli Research Group Receives $1.33 Million to Advance Stem Cell Treatment

Dr. Benjamin Reubinoff

I was heartened to just learn that researchers from the Hadassah-Hebrew Medical Center in Jerusalem are receiving a $1.33 million grant from the Israeli government to advance their development of a stem cell treatment for people with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD Hadassah is also funded by the Foundation Fighting Blindness. We are providing the group with a three-year, $300,000 grant for development of stem cell therapies.

Helping our researchers attract additional outside funding — whether from government entities or biopharmaceutical companies — is critical to the advancement of potential treatments and cures. In fact, I estimate that for every dollar we’ve invested in lab research, we’ve attracted seven dollars from the National Eye Institute. And in recent years, gene therapy development companies such as Oxford BioMedica and Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation are investing several millions in clinically focused research that was made possible by the Foundation’s funding of earlier lab studies.

Led by Dr. Benny Reubinoff, the Hadassah group is outstanding. I met with them earlier this year during my trip to Israel, and I was particularly impressed with their expertise in moving their research into human studies. They understand the regulatory challenges and technical rigors in advancing a potential therapy out of the lab and into the clinic. I am also impressed with Hadassah’s ambition; they are affiliated with companies that are targeting conditions like Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis in addition to dry AMD.

I look forward to providing future updates on Hadassah’s progress toward a clinical trial of stem cells for dry AMD. So, stay tuned.

Pictured Above:  Dr. Benny Reubinoff.

11 Responses to 'Israeli Research Group Receives $1.33 Million to Advance Stem Cell Treatment'

  1. Thank you to the Israeli goverment and the Foundation Fighting Blindness for your generous donation for the advancement of research. I was blind for five years and through major medical therapies I regained my eyesight back in one eye. I was one of the lucky ones. I never gave up hope, ever!
    Now with the extraordinary research I have no doubt that with all of the advancements in research with stem cells and all of the other major research clinical trails there will be cures for blindness expanding in the near future.
    There is always hope and I personally want to thank everyone that is participating in this amazing and rigorous quest for cures for AMD.
    Blindness now age or color and we need to support all that can make these diseases extinct. Thank you and Sincerly, Randyce Wechter

      Blindness knows no age or color and we need to support all that make these diseases extinct.

    • EyeOnTheCure says:

      Randyce, thank you for your support and sharing your story with us!

    • joy ketelhut says:

      I’m interested know how prrson was treated who had blindness and recovered sight;

      Is there retobulbar injections of stem cells for optic nerve atrophy and or clinical trials and if so what is the cost? Please send me names of doctors doing injections for optic nerve

      • Eye on the Cure says:

        Thanks for your message, Joy.

        Unfortunately, Optic Nerve Damage is not a disease that we specialize in funding research for. We would encourage you contact or to check out the site of the National Eye Institute.

        At the link below, the eye institute provides contact information for other resources and organizations that can assist you and tell you more about Optic Nerve Damage specifically.

        Please let us know if there is anything else we can help you with.

  2. Is it possible to access human trials?
    My mother is 84 with wet + dry AMD with deteriorating vision despite eye injections regularly.Would be prepared to come to Israel to trial as her visual loss is
    affecting her independence and will lead to her being placed in a nursing situation.

  3. mahtab says:

    HI. i have rp and optic nerve atrophy. my peripheral vision has been destryed completely and i have central vision just. please introduce me any way to restore my eyes. please help me. i want to candidate in your study. i want to come to israel for treat my eyes. please guide me.
    tank you so much
    best regards

  4. Firoozeh Ardeshiri says:

    Dear Doctors:

    I am writing bout my husband’s vision problem. We live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
    My husband is 67 years old, healthy, no diabetes, no blood pressure, and no… He smokes low tar and low nicotine cigarettes (~8 a day). He drinks beer 10% (2 large cans a day). His weight is about 65 kilograms, his height 180 centimetres.

    In March 2011, he suddenly complained about blurry vision. Through his family doctor he was referred to an ophthalmologist, and then he was referred to retina specialist. His diagnosis was “Retina Vein Occlusion with Chronic Macular Edema”. His specialist started injecting “Avastin” in both eyes, which caused a little bit of decrease in macular edema and improvement in visual acuity. He did 14 injections for both eyes (monthly interval). Also, he was referred to a glaucoma specialist who did 2 trabeculectomy procedures (5 month interval) for each eye. Afterwards, he did 2 cataract surgeries. However, his vision was somehow better after the first trabeculectomy surgery and after the 2nd one got worse. It was up and down. Eventually his retina specialist started injecting some medications to decrease the inflammation in his retina, but his vision is getting worse and worse. He is extremely light sensitive (sun and lamps), he is wearing UV glasses all the time. He doesn’t drive at all, because he confuses the traffic lights colors. He is not able to read newspapers and books. He went to optometrist for eye glasses, but they rejected him and said the nerves in his retina are damaged and can not be fixed at all. Overall, he is disappointed and frustrated.
    This was his brief story.

    I went through your website which seems very appealing, especially the testimonial part! Now, I am wondering if you could cure my husband’s eyes through your miracle treatment.

    I’d appreciate if you contact me by my cell phone No.: 416 – 418 – 3478 or email:

    Thanks a lot and best;

    August 7, 2015

    • EyeOnTheCure says:

      Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately we are not in a position to provide individuals with medical advice or to provide a diagnosis. We advise you to visit an eye doctor or retinal specialist. They will be best suited to make an examination and learn more. We wish you the best during this difficult time. It may also be helpful to periodically check the website: http://WWW.CLINICALTRIALS.GOV which is maintained by the National Institutes of Health and contains a searchable list of clinical trials for most known diseases. Each clinical trial listing will provide you with information on what the study is about, the requirements for participating and contact information.

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