US Department of Defense invests in regenerative medicine

$6.8 million award will further investigations into stem cell therapy for traumatic brain injury

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Sep 13, 2016

A $6.8 million award has been made by the US Department of Defense (DoD) to a team at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (TX, USA) to support their work assessing the safety and efficacy of using autologous stem cell therapy in adults with emergent traumatic brain injury.

"The DoD award will fund our next phase of clinical trials using cellular therapy for severe traumatic brain injury and we are gratified to see continued progress supported by our partners in the Joint Warfighter Program," explained lead investigator Charles S Cox (The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston). "This trial is designed to move past merely testing safety, but to also determine if there are structural improvements in the brain."

Few therapies currently exist for the treatment of TBI. In search of a new approach, this study will build on previous work demonstrating that autologous stem cell therapy following TBI is safe and reduces the therapeutic intensity requirements of neurocritical care. It is thought that the stem cells alleviate the body’s inflammatory response to the trauma.

The group aim to enrol a total of 55 patients who have experienced traumatic brain injuries within the previous 48 hours. The Phase II, randomized, placebo-controlled study hopes to determine whether intravenous infusion of a patient’s own stem cells results in white and grey matter preservation, in addition to brain regions linked to neurocognitive function. Secondary outcomes to be measured include improvements in function (Glasgow Outcome Scale) and markers of inflammation.

Written by Hannah Wilson

Source: UTHealth News

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