What happened

Shares of Lineage Cell Therapeutics (LCTX 2.80%) were soaring by 19.4% as of 12:01 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. The big gain came after the company announced positive news from a phase 1/2a study evaluating OpRegen in treating dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

So what 

Lineage Cell Therapeutics reported it observed restoration of retinal tissue in two additional patients in its study of OpRegen. The company reported its first case of retinal restoration last year. CEO Brian Culley said, "To our knowledge, these three patients represent the only examples of an experimental treatment for dry AMD demonstrating a reduction, rather than attenuating further expansion, of an area of atrophy in humans."

Letters spelling AMD next to a plastic eyeball with an eye chart in the background.

Image source: Getty Images.

The news is so encouraging that Lineage filed a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patent application for the restoration of the anatomy and/or functionality of diseased retinas. This filing enables the company to seek patent protection in multiple countries simultaneously. If Lineage receives approval for its patent application, it would have intellectual property protection at least through May 24, 2041.

Now what

Lineage now plans to discuss its detailed findings from the study of OpRegen with external therapeutic experts. The company also will evaluate its pathways for regulatory approval of the allogeneic retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell transplant therapy. With three of four patients who received OpRegen so far experiencing retinal tissue restoration, the prospects for this biotech stock appear bright.