Adult stem cells: a hope for patients with ALS

Publié le : 5 December 2012

 Recent clinical trials carried out by BrainStorm, an Israeli company that is developing NurOwn, a treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Charcot disease, have shown that the therapy "based on adult stem cells is well tolerated, seems to be without danger and carries no excessive risk, according to an intermediate safety examination.” Some patients have shown signs of the stabilisation of the disease, while the breathing of others has improved, and others have had their muscle power or speech improved.

During the clinical trials, "the patients received a transplant of stem cells taken from their own bone marrow which were treated with the NurOwn technology." Haim Lebovits, Chairman of the BrainStorm company "explained that the preliminary results prove that the stem cells can halt the ALS-linked deterioration and also cure it." While "this remains to be proven during the next trial phases," he pointed out that "these results reinforce our view that there is an enormous potential for success with less severe illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.
In an intermediate safety report presented to the Israeli Ministry for Health, Dimitrios Karussis from the Neurology Department of Hadassah hospital, where the trials are being carried out, explains that "these data on the harmlessness and tolerance of the treatment are reassuring as we move into the second half of the trials.". He adds: "although it is only a preliminary report, we cannot ignore the promising indications of clinical effectiveness observed in some patients." The article points out that a final report will be submitted before the end of the year, when each patient will have been examined over nine months. 

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