The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a layer of pigmented cells sandwiched between the visual retinal cells, called photoreceptors, and the nourishing blood vessels at the back of the eye. The RPE provides essential support to the retinal photoreceptors and is critical for normal vision. Deterioration of the RPE plays a central role in the progression of diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and sub-types of retinitis pigmentosa. These conditions are associated with a progressive loss of vision that often leads to blindness.
GIOSTAR has the ability derive RPE-like cells from ES cell, which is identified by their characteristic black pigment, exhibited multiple biological properties and genetic markers that define authentic RPE cells. Further, the cells successfully delayed deterioration of retinal structure and function when they were transplanted into eye. GIOSTAR is developing the technology to treat the blindness related with retinal degeneration.