Diacrin (http://www.diacrin.com/) has begun a phase 1 trial at Albany Medical Center in Albany and at Washington University in St. Louis (http://www.diacrin.com/newpage1.htm). This trial is currently recruiting patients with chronic spinal cord injury. The contact person at Diacrin regarding this trial is kkerrigan@diacrin.com

The cells are obtained from fetal pigs that have been genetically modified to reduce the likelihood of immune rejection of cells after transplantation. Due to unknown risks of transmission of pig pathogens to humans, the trial requires participants to agree not to have children. The participant must also agree to be listed by the FDA as a porcine transplant recipient and to allow autopsy if death occurs for any reason.

Diacrin porcine neural stem cells have been transplanted in over 100 patients in clinical trials of stroke, Parkinson's disease, Huntingtons Chorea, and other neurological disorders. There are concerns that pig cells can carry viruses or other pathogens that can be transformed into human disease. Because the cells come from pigs that are genetically modified to express certain human antigens, participants in the trial will not receive immunosuppression.

The cells are transplanted to the spinal cord by surgery. Bilby has described his experience as a participant of this trial in the Cure Forum ( "No Change Yet" ).

[This message was edited by Wise Young on August 06, 2001 at 01:41 PM.]