Fibroblasts for Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis: Hamid Khoja, PhD

The chief scientific officer of FibroBiologics spoke on fibroblast cell technology and its specific benefits in comparison stem cell therapy. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

“Fibroblasts have extraordinary potential in cell therapy…as compared to stem cells, which are prevalently used for cell therapy these days, [fibroblasts] are easier to source, they exist in far higher numbers than stem cells in a small mass of tissue.”

The use of fibroblast cell technologies is an approach taken by FibroBiologics for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as other chronic diseases. To learn more about how this technology is being leveraged as well as the specific benefits for patients with MS, we sat down with Hamid Khoja, PhD, chief scientific officer, FibroBiologics.

In terms of cell therapy, fibroblasts are more economical, exist in higher numbers, and are easier to obtain for culture than stem cells, which are more prevalently used for cell therapy, Khoja said in conversation with NeurologyLive®. Fibroblasts also grow faster than stem cells, with doubling rates of 18-24 hours vs 2-3 days, respectively. According to Khoja, data from preclinical studies of fibroblasts suggest that the immune modulation effect for MS is superior to bone marrow-deprived mesenchymal stem cells and adipose-derived stem cells.

Data further indicate that this treatment approach is safe for patients with MS, as investigators were able to infuse 100 million tolerogenic fibroblasts into patients without and adverse events. While the clinical trial was aimed at assessing safety, investigators observed efficacy in that none of the 4 included patients with relapsing-remitting MS had an episode.