Stem Cell-Based Phase I Trial to Repair Spinal Cord Injuries Produces Encouraging Results
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that a first-in-human phase I clinical trial in which neural stem cells were transplanted into participants with chronic spinal cord injuries produced measurable improvement in three of four subjects, with no serious adverse effects.
“The primary purpose of this first trial was to assess safety. And no procedure-related complications were observed in any of the patients,” said Joseph Ciacci, MD, principal investigator and a neurosurgeon at UC San Diego Health. “Our results suggest the approach can be performed safely and early signs of efficacy warrant further exploration and dose escalation studies.”
The trial used a human spinal cord-derived neural stem cell line developed by Neuralstem, Inc, a biopharmaceutical company based in Maryland. Four trial participants with one- to two-year-old permanent injuries to T2-T12 thoracic vertebrae (located in the middle of the spine) received six injections, each containing 1.2 million neural stem cells.
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