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National MS Society Funds New Clinical Trial of Individuals’ Own Stem Cells to Treat Progressive MS

March 11, 2019

The National MS Society has committed $1 million over three years to help support a Phase II clinical trial of stem cells in progressive MS. The trial is being led by Dr. Saud Sadiq at the Tisch MS Research Center of New York, and follows a Phase I trial at Tisch MSRCNY that suggested the procedure was safe.
The Phase II is a placebo-controlled trial that will involve 50 people with progressive forms of MS. The stem cells are derived from participants’ own bone marrow stem cells. The cells are expanded in the laboratory, directed to develop into specific cells called Mesenchymal Stem Cells-Neural Progenitors, and infused into the spinal fluid in multiple doses.
The stem cells are thought to release growth factors that may promote tissue repair as well as immune messengers that may inhibit immune responses. The trial will test whether participants show positive changes in measures of disability.
“There is an urgent need for more effective treatments for MS, particularly for those with more progressive forms of the disease,” said Dr. Bruce Bebo, National MS Society Executive Vice President, Research. “We believe that the potential of all types of cell therapies must be explored, and we are pleased to be a part of this clinical trial.”
Read about this and other mesenchymal stem cell research
Read more about the Society’s leadership role in stem cell research
Learn more about stem cell clinics and questions to ask

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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