A Medical Device Daily

The Cleveland Clinic is much, much more than cardiovascular care. The clinic’s Cole Eye Institute this week reported a collaboration with Arteriocyte (Cleveland/Hopkinton, Massachusets) to evaluate a cellular therapy for diabetic retinopathies, supported by a $310,000 Small Business Technology Transfer grant from the National Institutes of Health Eye Institute, part of the NIH.

Arteriocyte, with a primary focus on ischemic diseases, will work with clinic researchers to probe the underlying cause diabetic retinopathy — hypoxia resulting from vaso-obliteration — reduced blood flow due to blood vessel loss. “Our research efforts will focus on what role Arteriocyte’s cell therapy may play in preventing the initial vaso-degenerative phase of this disease,” said Bela Anand-Apte, PhD, associate professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, who will lead the research.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, diabetic retinopathy constitutes the leading cause of blindness among working Americans,approaching 8 million. Prevalent in diabetic patients, retinopathies often occur when vascular disease stunts existing blood vessel growth, often leading to blindness.

Cole Eye Institute is designated as a Wright Center for Innovation with support from the State of Ohio’s Third Frontier Project. John Griffin, director of the Technology Division at the Ohio Department of Development, said, “Arteriocyte’s award is another example of cutting edge medical research taking place at leading research institutions right here in our state.”

Arteriocyte, spun out of Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland), is based upon research utilizing stem cells to stimulate angiogenesis using multiple sources of adult derived stem cells.