Asterias Biotherapeutics has posted data from a phase 1/2a trial of its embryonic stem cell-based therapy. After six months, motor levels of all five evaluable patients who received a 10-million-cell dose have improved.
Fremont, California-based Asterias gave the 10-million-cell dose to six patients with cervical spinal cord injuries, five of whom have completed at least six months of follow-up. All five of the patients saw their motor level rise by at least one grade, on at least one side, against the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury scale. The score of one of the five went up two levels on both sides. Another experienced a two-notch increase but only on one side. Patients? Upper Extremity Motor Scores improved, too.
If the improvements are attributable to the therapy, the data suggest AST-OPC1 cells improve motor function in patients with the most severe form of spinal injury. The data also reveal a clean safety profile, with Asterias reporting no serious adverse events.
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