Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Hold the ice bucket! Revolutionary stem-cell ALS treatment trials begin

 

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Israel's BrainStorm has made a significant breakthrough in the treatment of ALS.

(ISRAEL21c)-As the Ice Bucket Challenge raises millions for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an Israeli treatment to ease symptoms and slow the progression of ALS and other incurable neuromuscular diseases is going into Phase 2 clinical trials in three major US medical centers.

Petah Tikva-based BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics' NurOwn platform is based on a technique developed by Profs. Daniel Offen and Eldad Melamed at Tel Aviv University for growing and enhancing stem cells harvested from patients' own bone marrow. The enhanced cells secrete elevated levels of nerve-growth factors that protect existing motor neurons, promote motor neuron growth and reestablish nerve-muscle interaction.

Last June, the publicly traded BrainStorm raised $10.5 million in private investments, and in July it was notified of the allowance of its US patent application.

Two initial trials conducted at Jerusalem's Hadassah University Medical Center led by stem-cell transplant pioneer Dr. Dimitrios Karussis, head of Hadassah's Multiple Sclerosis Center, showed promising preliminary results in 24 patients. "We are working on analysis of the data, but we can say there is some positive effect," Karussis tells ISRAEL21c.

"In some of the parameters there was up to a 60 percent beneficial response after the treatment. We hope in the next three months we will have a paper ready to be published."

For the full article go to israel21c.org

 

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