Hyderabad: The city-based LV Prasad Eye Institute has been granted a patent for an ingenious cell therapy designed to cure various corneal diseases by mending corneal injury.
Using a distinctive blend of stem cells abstracted from the eye surface, this cell therapy utilises two distinctive clotting factors that are stratified in a unique manner. The Indian Patent Office, under the guidelines of the Patent Act, 1970, awarded the patent to LVPEI inventors Dr Sayan Basu and Dr Vivek Singh.
Dr Sayan Basu is a corneal surgeon and clinician-scientist at LVPEI. He holds the esteemed position of Prof D Balasubramanian Chair of Eye Research at the Brien Holden Eye Research Center (BHERC). Besides, he also serves as the director of the Center for Ocular Regeneration (CORE) at LVPEI.
Dr Vivek Singh, on the other hand, is a scientist at the Sudhakar and Sereekanth Ravi Stem Cell Biology Laboratory and Center for Ocular Regeneration (CORE).
Corneal injury occurs when the cornea (the transparent tissue that covers the front of the eye) is wounded, turning it opaque due to various eye infections. Corneal blindness is a major cause of blindness and vision impairment, according to experts.
Currently, most of the corneal blindness cases require corneal transplants, which is not an easy job and requires lifelong care. With the use of either the patient’s own or donor corneal stem cells, this patented composition may provide a good substitute for corneal transplants, repopulating the corneal surface with clear, healthy cells.
“The potential impact of this patent extends beyond just scientific research to meet the needs of the broader public,” Dr. Basu said in a statement.
“If the clinical trials are successful, this cell-based therapy could revolutionize the treatment of various corneal pathologies,” he added.
Additionally, this patented therapy will also be useful in treating keratoconus, an eye condition in which the cornea gets thinner and gradually bulges outward into a cone shape, distorting vision. This can potentially be healed by replenishing corneal collagen, a connective enzyme that holds the shape of the cornea.
Dr. Vivek Singh said, “This patent is testament to the world-class research that is rooted in India and to solving India’s and the world’s burden due to corneal disease. This therapy has the potential to improve lives, and I hope to see it become a reality soon.
This novel “cell composition” based therapy is currently undergoing clinical trials, which represents a major advancement in the field of ophthalmology and cell-based therapy.