Benefits to Treating Progressive MS With Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Jeffrey Cohen, MD


The director of the Mellen Center for MS Treatment and Research at Cleveland Clinic discussed the use of MSC-NTF cells in progressive MS and the data backing this approach. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"Progressive MS represents a major unmet need in the field. We think that the therapies that are going to be effective will probably have different actions than our currently available therapies. They will have neuroprotective activity or that they promote. Several aspects of mesenchymal stem cell function meet those needs."

At the 37th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), October 13-15, investigators presented key data from a phase 2 study that evaluated autologous mesenchymal stromal cells secreting neurotrophic factors (MSC-NTF) cells in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). These cells are induced to increase secretion of neuroprotective and immunomodulatory molecules and may address compartmentalized central nervous system inflammation. The trial featured 18 patients with progressive MS who had mean Expanded Disability Status Scale scores of 5.4.

At the conclusion of the 28-week treatment period, 14% and 13% of treated patients showed 25% improvements in timed 25-foot walk and 9-Hole Peg Test. In comparison, no patients from the Comprehensive Longitudinal Investigation of Multiple Sclerosis, or CLIMB, registry (n = 48), the study’s matched cohort, achieved these outcomes during comparable follow-up. The therapy also demonstrated relevant cerebrospinal fluid biomarker outcomes as well.

Lead author Jeffrey Cohen, MD, director, Mellen Center for MS Treatment and Research, Cleveland Clinic, and president, Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss the presentation. He provided context on the need for alternative therapies for patients with progressive MS, and why the mechanistic action of MSC-NTF cells pose as an intriguing option.

For more coverage of ECTRIMS 2021, click here.

Cohen J, Lublin F, Lock C, Pelletier D, et al. Phase 2 safety and efficacy study of intrathecal MSC-NTF cells in progressive multiple sclerosis. Presented at ECTRIMS 2021.
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