First LSCD patient in UK receives Chiesi’s Holoclar

Pharmaceutical Technology | November 04, 2019

First LSCD patient in UK receives Chiesi’s Holoclar
The first patient, funded by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), has received treatment with Chiesi’s stem-cell-based therapy Holoclar for limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) caused by chemical eye burns. The patient received treatment at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. LSCD is a rare eye disorder, which could result in chronic pain, photophobia, burning, inflammation, stromal scarring, corneal neovascularisation and even blindness. Chiesi’s Holoclar is a form of advanced therapy called a tissue-engineered product, made of cells obtained from the patient’s healthy limbus during a biopsy. The extracted cells are sent to the manufacturing facility at Holostem Terapie Avanzate in Italy to be prepared and grown in a culture to generate a layer of healthy tissue. After a minimum of 50 days, the healthy tissue layer is transported back to the treating hospital for implantation into the damaged eye to repair the damaged corneal surface. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK recommended the drug in 2017 for the treatment of adults with moderate-to-severe LSCD after eye burns.

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Thousands of scientists were sent home on temporary non-paid leave, what does it mean for the research they had to leave behind? “A shutdown has these cascading effects on the scientific work of the organization,” said Daniel M. Ashe, a former director of the Fish and Wildlife Service. “They’re hard to foresee or predict right now, but they’re crippling, really, and they affect the organization not for three or four weeks, but for the rest of the year because of all of this complex orchestration of field work.”

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Spotlight

Thousands of scientists were sent home on temporary non-paid leave, what does it mean for the research they had to leave behind? “A shutdown has these cascading effects on the scientific work of the organization,” said Daniel M. Ashe, a former director of the Fish and Wildlife Service. “They’re hard to foresee or predict right now, but they’re crippling, really, and they affect the organization not for three or four weeks, but for the rest of the year because of all of this complex orchestration of field work.”