Neurotech has announced the publication of findings from its Phase I study of NT-501 for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. NT-501, the company's lead encapsulated cell technology (ECT) product is an intraocular, polymer implant containing human retinal pigment epithelial cells genetically modified to secrete ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF). The implant is designed to continuously release CNTF directly in the eye to retinal tissue for sustained periods of time.
The open-label Phase I study was designed to assess the safety and tolerability of NT-501 in ten patients with RP. In the study, two doses of CNTF were evaluated. NT-501 was implanted in one eye per patient and then removed after six months. The results of the study showed that NT-501 can be safely implanted into the eye and was found to be well-tolerated by patients. In addition, while the study was not designed to assess clinical efficacy, three of seven patients with evaluable visual acuity experienced an improvement in visual acuity.