Method for neuronal differentiation of MSCs as a potential treatment for MS
Sector: Immunology / Inflammation
Multiple Sclerosis patients that do not respond to currently available, registered first and second line immunomodulatory treatments (i.e. interferons, Copaxone, Tysabri immunosuppression) are in high need to alternative therapies that can either be used alone or in combination with available drugs.
•A method to drive differentiation of human mesenchymal bone marrow stem cells into specific well characterized Neuronal Mesenchymal Stem Cells (NMSCs).
•In addition, we have Know-how of using Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) for the treatment of non-reactive MS patients. Cells are expanded at Hadassah clean rooms.
The NMSCs technology includes two major distinct steps:
oThe first step is an initial differentiation of MSCs such that they form neurosphere-like structures.
oThe second step is terminal differentiation of the neurosphere-like structures into neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes.
Proof of concept with autologous MSCs In vitro
•Neuroprotection and immunomodulation with mesenchymal stem cells in chronic experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
•Safety and immunological effects of mesenchymal stem cell transplantation in patients with multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Currently an advancedphase II clinical trial is ongoing at Hadassah.
The clinical proof of concept of the MSCs (unpatented) can potentially be applied to the NMSCs that are currently at pre-clinical phase and patent-pending. Potential applications include Multiple Sclerosis patients and patients with other neuroinflammatory and neurodegenrative diseases.