Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Phase I clinical trials for Multiple Sclerosis using bone marrow cells


Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune disorder in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheath covering the neurons. This myelin sheath on axonal parts is essential for the conduction of signals/messages from the brain to the various muscles of the body.

The mesechymal stem cells are those derived from the bone marrow. The approved phase I clinical trial will primarily determine the safety of introducing autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cell-derived neural progenitors (MSC-NPs). The isolated and expanded autologous MSC-NPs will be injected into the spinal theca and, this will be done for six months. It is a three-year study during which the participants will have follow-up visits frequently and upto 27 months followed by the final injection.

The proof-of-concept was exhibited in the Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) animal model (Harris et al., J Neurol Sci, 2012). This study demonstrated the therapeutic potential of MSC-NPs in EAE mice. This study showed that the injected MSC-NPs influenced the rate of repair by migrating to the demyelinated areas and effecting the endogeneous progenitors in the spinal cord. The protocol of the clinical trial, regarding dosage and its frequency, comes from this research.

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