JERUSALEM, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Israeli bio-pharmaceutical company Kadimastem announced on Wednesday a success in trials of a treatment for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), based on healthy cells transplant.
ALS is a rare and incurable muscular dystrophy that affects the motor nerve cells and causes paralysis that gradually spreads to all parts of the body.
The new treatment is done by injecting nervous system support cells (astrocytes), derived from human embryonic stem cells, into the patient's spinal fluid.
Thus, the injected cells support the malfunctioning cells of the brain and spinal cord, in order to slow the progression of the disease and improve patients' quality of life and life expectancy.
The trials included five ALS patients who received a single dose of 100 million astrocyte cells.
In a period of six months after receiving the treatment, no serious side effects were reported, nor toxicity which would limit the drug's dose.
Also, there was a significant slowdown in the pace of disease deterioration in the first three months, compared to the same period before the drug was given to the patients.
Kadimastem, founded in 2009 and based in the central city of Ness Ziona, is developing industrial regenerative medicine therapies based on differentiated cells derived from human embryonic stem cells to treat neuro-degenerative diseases.