NCI Technology Opportunities Webinar: Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cell (BMSC)-Derived Exosomes for the Treatment of Glaucoma
Webinar overview: The inventors will discuss their discovery that BMSC‐derived exosome administration for glaucoma may confer a significant neuroprotective effect for retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and prevent vision loss, and how their isolated BMSC-derived exosomes have several immediate advantages for clinical translation compared to potential whole-cell (stem cell) therapies currently being used to treat glaucoma.
Glaucoma is one of the world’s leading causes of irreversible blindness. There is no cure and vision lost from glaucoma cannot be restored. Glaucoma is often associated with fluid build-up in the eye resulting in an increased intraocular pressure (IOP). The pressure may cause damage to the optic nerve and lead to progressive degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) and vision loss. Currently, available treatments for glaucoma delay progression by reducing IOP, but no therapies exist to directly protect RGCs from degradation and loss. This new method of using BMSC-derived exosomes provides a way to directly target and protect RGCs from degrading because of IOP related damage to the optic nerve. This method for protecting RGCs could also be used in combination with other methods for reducing IOP.