Mesenchymal stem cell-derived neural progenitors in progressive MS: Two-year follow-up of a phase I study

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Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2020 Dec 4;8(1):e928. doi: 10.1212/NXI.0000000000000928. Print 2021 Jan.


OBJECTIVE: To determine the long-term safety and efficacy of repeated intrathecal (IT) administration of autologous mesenchymal stem cell-derived neural progenitors (MSC-NPs) in patients with progressive MS by evaluating subjects 2 years after treatment.

METHODS: Twenty subjects were enrolled as part of a phase I, open-label single-arm study of 3 IT injections of MSC-NPs spaced 3 months apart. Subjects were evaluated for adverse events and disability outcomes including the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and the timed 25-foot walk (T25FW). Long-term evaluation was conducted 2 years after the third treatment. CSF was collected before and 3 months after treatment.

RESULTS: Eighteen of the 20 study participants completed the full 2-year follow-up protocol. There were no long-term adverse events associated with repeated IT-MSC-NP treatment. Seven subjects showed sustained improvement in EDSS after 2 years, although the degree of improvement was not maintained in 5 of the subjects. Three of the 10 ambulatory subjects showed sustained improvement in the T25FW after 2 years. CSF biomarker analysis revealed a decrease in C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) and an increase in interleukin 8, hepatocyte growth factor, and C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12) after treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Safety and efficacy of repeated IT-MSC-NP treatment was sustained for 2 years; however, the degree of disability reversal was not sustained in a subset of patients. CSF biomarkers altered in response to IT-MSC-NP treatment may reflect specific immunoregulatory and trophic mechanisms of therapeutic response in MS.

CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class IV evidence that for patients with progressive MS, IT administration of MSC-NPs is safe and effective. The study is rated Class IV because of the absence of a non-IT-MSC-NP-treated control group.


PMID:33277427 | DOI:10.1212/NXI.0000000000000928