Methods and compositions for ocular regeneration

Business Opportunity


This technology developed at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), provides an opportunity to develop an early marker diagnostic kit for ocular disease.  It is also a potential novel therapy to affect proliferation, expansion, and migration of cells resulting in regeneration of corneal tissue in situ.


The Market


25-30 million people suffer with irreversible visual impairment due to age-related macular degeneration/maculopathy.  2.3 million are affected by uveitis, and 5.5 million suffer from cataracts (US figures).  A potential regenerative therapy using the technology is well placed to play a role in the estimated 2010 worldwide $500 billion regenerative medicine market.


The Technology


This technology offers a method of inducing corneal regeneration by use of growth factors and somatic stem cells. UNSW scientists have localised a number of growth factors to a specific region of the eye, one of which in addition to its anti-apoptotic properties, maintains mesenchymal stem cells in self-renewal. Potentially, this allows us to expand a sufficient amount of autologous stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow and transplant them to the area that requires regeneration in the cornea. Delivery of the cells may be through contact lenses or injection to the site of injury to enhance regenerative capacity and wound healing.


Furthermore, we are working on the use of olfactory ensheathing cells as a means of supplying alternative cells for regenerating corneal tissue. The same applies with the growth factor, although believed to be a potent antiagiogenic factor, it is also actually a neurotrophin, which we have taken to induce tissue regeneration of corneal.


The Team


The UNSW team who have worked on this technology is composed of Professors Denis Wakefield (an expert in immune mechanisms in inflammatory eye disease), Peter McCluskey (a Clinical Ophthalmologist), Dr Maria Sarris (Head of the Histology and Microscopy Unit), Dr Nick DiGirolamo, and PhD Candidate, Mr Helder Marcel. 


Investment Opportunity


NSi is looking to license the technology and/or to partner with an organisation to further support this research and advance the proof of concept.


An Australian provisional patent application was filed in November 07.

Further Information:


Dr. Alfredo Martinez-Coll

Business Development Manager

T: +61 2 9385 4679


Ref: 07_2102





Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Alfredo MartineZ-Coll
Senior Business Development Manager
NewSouth Innovations Pty Ltd
Reference ID: 07_2102
Helder Marcal
Peter Mccluskey
Maria Sarris
Denis Wakefield
Nick Di Girolamo
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