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Positive Results Announced from Small Clinical Trial of Cell Therapy in Progressive MS

March 31, 2021

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics announced results from a small Phase 2 open label clinical trial that tested its stem cell therapy -- NurOwn® -- on 18 people with either primary progressive or secondary progressive MS.
  • The cells were derived from individuals’ own bone marrow (mesenchymal) stem cells, which were expanded in the laboratory in a way that made them secrete nerve growth factors. They were then delivered to the spinal fluid (intrathecal administration) three times, two months apart.
  • The treatment appeared to be safe. Other outcomes for trial participants were compared to a variety of clinical measures from 48 people enrolled in the Comprehensive Longitudinal Investigations in MS at the Brigham & Woman’s Hospital (CLIMB Study).
  • The company reported positive benefits in cognition, vision, mobility and other functions, and detected biomarkers suggesting nerve protection and reduced inflammation in the brain and spinal cord.
  • Through Fast Forward, the National MS Society provided research funding to add a biomarker study to this trial to discover new ways to more quickly detect whether a therapy has benefit in progressive MS. The Society is also co-funding an ongoing phase 2 trial of mesenchymal stem cells in progressive MS at the Tisch MS Research Center of New York.
  • Additional evaluations of the NurOwn study results are underway to determine next steps in the development of this experimental approach for treating progressive MS.
“We applaud BrainStorm for completion of this first in human trial of NurOwn in progressive MS, and are encouraged by the early indication of safety and effectiveness,” said Mark Allegretta, PhD, Vice President of Research at the National MS Society. “We’re hopeful that our collaboration will uncover insights into clinically relevant biomarkers that may predict a treatment effect in progressive MS.”
Read more about the potential of stem cells to treat MS

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. There is currently no cure for MS. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from numbness and tingling, to mobility challenges, blindness and paralysis. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The National MS Society, founded in 1946, funds cutting-edge research, 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, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or 1-800-344-4867.


© 2021 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.