The stem cell treatment has promise to fill a current unmet need for those suffering from the debilitating disease and who can no longer take biologic methods.
With millions of people suffering from painful rheumatoid arthritis, a new hope has come in the form of a stem cell treatment that could relieve the disease that causes the body to attack its own tissues.
The cell treatment was discovered by Australian biotech company Mesoblast Ltd, who announced on Monday that its tests had led to significant improvements in patients who had joined the trial since their usual biotech medicines had stopped working.
Forty eight participants took part in the 2-week phase II clinical trial and found that the MPC-300-IV treatment was not only effective in combating the arthritis but also had no side effects whatsoever. A measure called the ACR20 determines how effective the treatment is – the treatment must show a 20 percent improvement in symptoms amongst patients. Of those who received the treatment, 55 percent achieved the ACR20, while those that received a placebo only achieved 33 percent.
Mesoblast are hoping the success of the stem cell treatment in clinical trials will go on to be developed into a first-line treatment for those suffering from the debilitating disease that can often lead to premature death and an increase risk of heart disease. Dr. Allan Gibofsky, a rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York said in a statement that the new treatment has promise to fill current unmet needs.
“The safety and efficacy results of this study are very encouraging and suggest that Mesoblast’s cell therapy has the potential to fill the major unmet medical need [for patients who cannot take biologic treatments.]”
Mesoblast are now planning to line up a potential partner in order to move the treatment into much bigger Phase III trials, according to a report by Reuters.