Israeli-developed ALS treatment shows promise in clinical trial

An MRI image that illustrates the ALS disease. Credit: Frank Gaillard via Wikimedia Commons.

( The Israeli company BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, revealing results from a clinical trial for its stem cell treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease) in adults, said most patients in the trial displayed improvement in the form of slower progression of the disease.

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects 5,600 people in the U.S. alone, according to the ALS Association. Famed physicist Stephen Hawking has a slow-progressing form of the disease.

BrainStorm’s stem cell treatment, called NurOwn, was administered to 14 patients as part of the trial at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. Eleven of the 12 patients with three or more months of follow-up showed improvement in slowing the disease’s progression. 

The study provides "a consistent and highly promising picture of NurOwn’s efficacy," said BrainStorm CEO Tony Fiorino. 

"In particular, I would highlight that we observed not only a highly meaningful reduction in ALS progression... but we saw subjects with prolonged stabilization and even improvements in function, and all this was achieved with just a single dose of NurOwn," he said. "We are excited to proceed to a multi-dose study to see if these positive results can be amplified and extended by administering repeated doses."

Posted on January 7, 2015 .