An Osaka University research team said Monday it has concluded that the world's first clinical trial, spanning over years, transplanting corneal tissues derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, into four almost-blind patients was safe and effective.

None of the patients experienced rejection or tumorigenicity of the transplanted cells and all saw improvements in their symptoms, according to the team at Osaka University led by professor Koji Nishida.

Three of the patients experienced improved eyesight, with one improving from 0.15 to 0.7, the team said. The iPS cells, developed by Kyoto University's Shinya Yamanaka, who won the 2012 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for the achievement, can grow into any type of body tissue.