Results of ALS Studies Provide Support for Stem Cell Therapies

Martin McGlynn, President and CEO of StemCells, a small company focused on developing neural stem cell-based therapeutics, recently suggested that this is a “pivotal time for stem cell therapeutics.” This is especially the case for ALS, as there have been several promising recent clinical trials involving stem cells in ALS. For example, earlier this year, BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. presented the results from their Phase I/II clinical trial to test the tolerability and safety of their NurOwn stem cell technology for the treatment of ALS at the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Conference held in San Diego, California. The early results from the trial suggested “initial indications of clinical benefit.” BrainStorm is awaiting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in order to move forward with a Phase II trial in the United States. In addition, this past April Neuralstem Inc. received FDA approval for their Phase II study to inject human spinal cord-derived stem cells (NSI-566) directly into the spinal cord for the treatment of ALS. Dr. Eva Feldman, the Principal Investigator on the Phase I and early Phase II clinical trials, shared the results from the Phase I studies in a plenary address at the Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation Annual Congress. Dr. Feldman expressed that in some early stage ALS patients the therapy can “…integrate into the host tissue and nurture and protect the remaining healthy cells, and … nurse some “sick” cells back to better health.” Let’s hope these next two Phase II studies continue to show promising results for stem cell based treatments in ALS. Stay tuned to the ALS Forum for updates!

Martin McGlynn, President and CEO of StemCells, a small company focused on developing neural stem cell-based therapeutics, recently suggested that this is a “pivotal time for stem cell therapeutics.” This is especially the case for ALS, as there have been several promising recent clinical trials involving stem cells in ALS. For example, earlier this year, BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. presented the results from their Phase I/II clinical trial to test the tolerability and safety of their NurOwn stem cell technology for the treatment of ALS at the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Conference held in San Diego, California. The early results from the trial suggested “initial indications of clinical benefit.” BrainStorm is awaiting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in order to move forward with a Phase II trial in the United States. In addition, this past April Neuralstem Inc. received FDA approval for their Phase II study to inject human spinal cord-derived stem cells (NSI-566) directly into the spinal cord for the treatment of ALS. Dr. Eva Feldman, the Principal Investigator on the Phase I and early Phase II clinical trials, shared the results from the Phase I studies in a plenary address at the Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation Annual Congress. Dr. Feldman expressed that in some early stage ALS patients the therapy can “…integrate into the host tissue and nurture and protect the remaining healthy cells, and … nurse some “sick” cells back to better health.” Let’s hope these next two Phase II studies continue to show promising results for stem cell based treatments in ALS. Stay tuned to the ALS Forum for updates!

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