A team of researchers from Italy’s Hospital Casa Solleivo della Sofferenza, the University of Milan Bicocca and the University of Cambridge have discovered that stem cell therapy may be effective at slowing the progression of cognitive decline in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a debilitating neurological disorder that occurs when the immune system becomes dysfunctional and begins attacking the protective covering around nerve fibers.
There are four types of MS, with two of them being progressive. That means their symptoms become more and more severe over time, causing the patient’s disability to worsen as the disease progresses. Around 10% to 15% of all multiple sclerosis diagnoses are primary progressive MS while an estimated 58 out of every 100,000 MS patients suffer from secondary progressive MS. Researchers are consistently working to develop more effective treatments for patients with progressive types of MS.
The multinational research team from the United States, Italy, the United Kingdom and Switzerland was interested in the possibility of using stem cells, a special type of cell that can develop into several other cell types, to treat progressive MS. During the study, researchers injected stem cells collected from the brain tissue of a miscarried fetal donor into the brains of 15 secondary MS patients. All the participants were recruited from Italy and had high disability levels at the start of the early-stage clinical trial.
Twelve months after the injection of the stem cells, researchers discovered that the patients displayed no progression in their symptoms; they also showed no increase in disability. Furthermore, none of the study participants reported any symptoms that indicated relapse or a major decline in cognitive function.
Colead author and University of Cambridge’s Department of Clinical Neurosciences professor of regenerative neuroimmunology and honorary consultant in neurology Dr. Stefano Pluchino says we “desperately need” novel therapies for secondary progressive MS. He stated that while the early-stage study had its limitations, such as its small size and the possibility of immunosuppressant drugs impacting its findings, the fact that the experimental treatment exhibited safety and efficacy over a 12-month period opened the door to the next stage of trials.
The researchers also analyzed a subgroup of the study participants to determine if MS progression was associated with changes in brain tissue volume. They found that injecting larger doses of neural stem cells caused the rate of brain tissue decline to drop over time, suggesting that stem cells may aid in cutting inflammation in the brain.
Stem cell therapy is still very expensive and not many patients can afford it. Companies such as Clene Inc. (NASDAQ: CLNN) are working on bringing to market other treatment alternatives so that more MS patients can access the medications they need at affordable price points.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Clene Inc. (NASDAQ: CLNN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CLNN
BioMedWire (“BMW”) is a specialized communications platform with a focus on the latest developments in the Biotechnology (BioTech), Biomedical Sciences (BioMed)and Life Sciences sectors. It is one of 60+ brands within the Dynamic Brand Portfolio @ IBN that delivers: (1) access to a vast network of wire solutions via InvestorWire to efficiently and effectively reach a myriad of target markets, demographics and diverse industries; (2) article and editorial syndication to 5,000+ outlets; (3) enhanced press release enhancement to ensure maximum impact; (4) social media distribution via IBN to millions of social media followers; and (5) a full array of tailored corporate communications solutions. With broad reach and a seasoned team of contributing journalists and writers, BMW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that want to reach a wide audience of investors, influencers, consumers, journalists and the general public. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, BMW brings its clients unparalleled recognition and brand awareness.
BMW is where breaking news, insightful content and actionable information converge.
To receive SMS alerts from BioMedWire, “Biotech” to 888-902-4192 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)
For more information, please visit https://www.BioMedWire.com
BioMedWire is powered by IBN