ReNeuron Group PLC (AIM:RENE) announced that the first UK subject has been treated at the Oxford Eye Hospital, part of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, as part of the second stage of clinical trials.

The pharma company is evaluating its candidate for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa (RP), an inherited, degenerative eye disease.

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The remaining study participants are expected to be treated by the end of 2021, the AIM-listed firm said.

ReNeuron’s hRPC therapeutic candidate is undergoing Phase 2a clinical evaluations for the treatment of RP, which affects 1 in 4,000 people in the US and worldwide. The expanded study encompasses four sites worldwide, with two sites in the US as well as the recently activated sites in the UK and in Spain.

The study uses a cryopreserved human retinal progenitor cell line (hRPC) formulation, enrolling subjects with advanced RP with some remaining central vision.

The 2mln cell dose used in this study extension represents a doubling of the earlier dose level, where good product safety and efficacy signal were seen in subjects followed out to 12 months.

Early efficacy data is earmarked for the first quarter of 2022.

In a separate announcement, ReNeuron said that Catherine Isted has now joined the company as a chief financial officer and has been appointed to the board as an executive director.

Professor Sir Chris Evans OBE, who has been on the board as an independent director, has decided to step down with immediate effect, though he will remain in touch as an adviser.

Shares rose 2% to 118.5p early on Monday.

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