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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 disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The National MS Society, founded in 1946, is the global leader of a growing movement dedicated to creating a world free of MS. The Society funds cutting-edge research for a cure, drives change through advocacy and provides programs and services to help people affected by MS live their best lives. Connect to learn more and get involved:, Facebook, X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or 1-800-344-4867.


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