We are a dedicated team of scientists on a mission to deliver sight-restoring therapies to patients.
StemSight's journey began with a genuine clinical need identified by ophthalmic surgeons, supported by a visionary group of scientists.
But let's rewind to the year 2005. Professor Outi Hovatta, the grand old lady and pioneer of stem cell research from Karolinska Institutet was invited to Tampere, Finland, with the mission to set up Regea, a state-of-the-art research facility, to develop high-quality cellular medicines for clinical applications.
Among the early researchers joining Outi was Heli Skottman. Later, Heli founded her own research group, the Eye Regeneration Group, which is exclusively dedicated to harnessing pluripotent stem cells for eye-related applications. The Skottman Lab was among the first researchers to differentiate these cells into human retinal pigment epithelial cells and has later pioneered the xeno-free and feeder-free cell culture methods for pluripotent stem cells. The close contact with cornea clinicians remained, and the vision for restoring sight to their patients became the guiding principle for the entire team.
In the early 2010s, Finnish cornea clinicians turned to Heli with another pressing issue. Would it be possible to find a cure for untreatable patients suffering from limbal stem cell deficiency? And soon enough, the first patent application for the differentiation of limbal stem cells was filed. Over the years, the original methods were honed and expanded while the team welcomed new talents from various disciplines, including engineering and biology.
Over the years, the original methods were honed and expanded while the team welcomed new talents from various disciplines, including engineering and biology. Close collaboration with cornea clinicians persisted, and the vision of restoring sight to their patients remained the team's guiding principle.
By 2021, the technology had matured to the point where publicly-funded academic research could no longer sustain it. Driven by a shared purpose to see this technology reach its full potential in transforming patients' lives, four scientists from the Skottman Lab took the bold step of founding StemSight.