Israeli BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics sees promising ALS trial

Clinical Trial Results Provide Strong Indication That Stem Cell Treatment Inhibits ALS Disease Progression In 87 percent of Patients


Israeli BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics has posted “highly promising” data published by JAMA Neurology in their latest issue. It indicated that a new treatment for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) developed by the company significantly slowed the progression of the disease.

ALS is estimated to affect 30, 000 people in the US and 450, 000 worldwide.

The findings involved the Phase 1/2 and Phase 2a clinical trials. These Clinical Trials, which began in 2011,  utilized an adult stem cell self-transplantation treatment involving the harvesting of stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow, their culture and enhancement using Brainstorm’s patented protocol NurOwn and their injection into the patient’s cerebrospinal fluid by a technique that was developed and proposed by the Hadassah investigators.

HMO Principal Investigator Dr. Karussis explains the study findings: “The results are very encouraging. Close to 90 percent of patients who were injected intrathecally through the spinal cord fluid were regarded as responders to the treatment either in terms of their respiratory function or their motor disability. Almost all of the patients injected in this way showed less progression and some even improved in their respiratory functions or their motor functions. A Phase 2, double blind, study is running currently, at Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital and University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center, using a treatment protocol identical to the HMO trial.

Dr. Karussis continued, “Our data also provide clear indications for clinically meaningful beneficial effects. I am optimistic that within the foreseeable future, we may provide a treatment to ALS patients that can slow down or stop the progression. I believe we are in the early stages of something new and revolutionary with this harvested stem cell infusion therapy. While this is absolutely by no means a cure, it is the first step in a long process in that direction. I see this treatment as being potentially one of the major future tools to treat degenerative diseases of the brain and spinal cord, in general.”

Hadassah President Ellen Hershkin states, “HMO is eager to continue its groundbreaking work to combat ALS and similar neurodegenerative or neuroinflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and many others.”


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