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WCN 2023 | Phase I clinical trial using stem cells to combat Parkinson’s disease progression

Alfonso Fasano, MD, PhD, from University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, gives an update on an ongoing clinical trial testing the safety of stem cell therapy in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. The BlueRock Phase I trial (NCT04802733) implanted dopaminergic neuron precursors derived from human embryonic stem cells into twelve patients with PD to test the safety of the procedure. The cell therapy, named bemdaneprocel, was well tolerated with no major safety concerns after one year in both the high-dose and low-dose arm. Secondary/exploratory clinical endpoints also showed improvements, particularly in the high-dose cohort: patients showed increased ‘on’ time, less severe symptoms during ‘off’ time, and increased dopamine production in the putamen. The trial will continue until all patients have reached two years of follow-up and a Phase II sham-controlled trial will soon be launched that will run for 5-years in a larger cohort of patients with PD. This interview took place at the World Congress of Neurology (WCN) 2023 in Montreal, Canada.

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Dr Fasano reports the following disclosures:
Receipt of grants/research support: Boston Scientific, MJ Fox Foundation, Medtronic, University of Toronto, McLaughlin Centre
Receipt of honoraria or consultation fees: Abbott, Abbvie, American Academy of Neurology, Brainlab, Boston Scientific, Ceregate, Chiesi Farmaceutici, Inbrain, International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society, Ipsen, Medtronic, Novartis, TEVA Canada, UCB pharma, Sunovion
Participation in a company sponsored advisory board: Abbott, Abbvie, Boston Scientific, Ipsen, Medtronic, Sunovion