A new Phase 1a open-label single-centre study is underway to assess the safety of administering DUOC-01 cells to adult patients with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS). Cellular therapies like the one are always being worked on, and stem cell treatments are advancing and likely to feature quite a bit in future medicine.

To learn more about the disease and the study looking to treat it, read on.

Multiple Sclerosis

MS (Multiple Sclerosis) is an autoimmune that affects the brain and spinal cord. It can present a number of symptoms such as issue with vision, movement problems in the arms and legs and issues with sensation and balance. It is a life-long condition that can cause both mild and serious disabilities.

Relapsing remitting MS is the more common type with 8-9/10 people with MS being diagnosed with it. It presents in episodes of symptoms that last anywhere up to a few months before subsiding. These symptoms can either go away on their own but may require medical attention.

PPMS or Primary Progressive MS is what this trial is targeting. As the name implies from the first sign of symptoms it is progressively gets worse over time.

What happens with this particular autoimmune disease is the body’s immune system starts attacking the myelin sheath. This being the layer the surrounds a nerve to protect it. The damage appears as lesions, and these lesions disrupt the signals from the brain to parts of the body.

Symptoms for both types of MS can variety but typically people experience fatigue, problems getting around, blurred vision and other eye problems, muscle stiffness, spasms, problems thinking and some others.

The Trial

This new trial aims to have approximately 20 adult participants with PPMS be administered intrathecally (into the cerebrospinal fluid) with DUOC-01 cells.

It is worth explaining briefly what the DUOC-01 cells actually are. These are macrophage-like cells that have been derived from monocytes found in human umbilical cord blood.

The hope is to see if these cells can help treat MS and this will be checked by comparisons of before and after MS assessments scores, MRI scans and blood markers. If the results are good there is a chance that these cells could be used for treatments for of other that damage the myelin such as Parkinson’s and ALS.

Stem Cell Storage

The DUOC-01 cells are derived from donated cryopreserved cord blood. You have the opportunity to save your babies umbilical cord blood and tissue so that in the future, should trial like these prove successful and your baby require treatment, they have access to a source of precious stem cells to use.

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Find out more about cord blood banking by downloading a Welcome Pack now.

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