Posted on Oct 22, 2018, 1 a.m.
Stem cell derived Parkinson’s disease treatment has been given to the 10th patient in an Australian clinical trial from International Stem Cell Corp.
In a surgery performed without complications at the Royal Melbourne Hospital the patient received brain cells derived from the company’s proprietary stem cell product that were introduced into the brain. Similar transplants have been performed using fetal brain cells, however the company uses its own proprietary stem cells, patients getting this experimental therapy are being examined carefully for any side effects.
This patient was the 2nd of three groups of a patients with Parkinson’s disease, each group has received varying doses of the stem cells; this group is receiving 70 million cells which is the highest dose yet given; last patient from this grouping is expected to receive treatment by the end of 2018.
Russell Kern, executive vice president and chief scientific officer says in a statement that based on available clinical data they are confident the therapy is safe, well tolerated, and has the potential to improve quality of patient life.
This is an early stage study meant to judge safety in treating the disorder. The company has said that there are preliminary signs of treated patients showing benefit, but this will need to be confirmed with more advanced studies.
The company’s proprietary stem cell treatments are derived from unfertilized or parthenogenetic human egg cells that are grown into neural stem cells capable of becoming various kinds of cells in the brain, that have been immune matched to reduce chances of being rejected. After transplanting the neural stem cells are intended to mature into cell types that will relieve symptoms such as neurotransmitter dopamine cells that are destroyed in the disease, and others are expected to become cells that support that dopamine making neurons.
San Diego County, Summit For Stem Cells is also attempting a similar therapy. A major difference is these stem cells being used are derived from the patients being treated, making them immune compatible, which are grown into stem cells that are then converted into dopamine making neurons; only these dopamine making cells are transplanted.
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