Retinal sheet transplantation replacement therapy is potentially available now to help people with blinding retinal diseases but the progress is mainly hindered by the ethical issue using fetal donor tissue. This has indirectly blocked funding. Our use of this tissue has always followed the official guidelines and approval from FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
The patients participating in previous studies have not been charged any costs. And the research needs support and money. We can always improve. In the next series of patients we want to introduce an improvement that increased the success in animal experiments with over 20%.
Retinal sheet transplantation is not using live embryos but macerated tissue that otherwise will be discarded. But even if this source is restricted it still could help thousands of people during a transition period until something comparable can be developed. Our research results could be of invaluable help for stem cell research to evade mistakes and proceed faster to the goal to becoming a viable clinical therapy. So far with stem cells, this lies in an undetermined time in the future. But we have a potential viable therapy available now.