BrainStorm has developed a proprietary, stem cell based technology that delivers growth factors that can help neurons live longer at or near the site of injury or damage. We are developing this innovative therapy for the treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases. It has been tested in several animal models for various diseases, and has shown safety and promising signs of efficacy in clinical trials for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Neurodegenerative Diseases and Stem Cell Research
Neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and many others afflict millions of people around the globe, but for the most part lack effective therapies. The need for therapies that can replace or repair dead, dying, stressed or damaged neurons has naturally led investigators to stem cell-based therapies.
In general, there are two distinct and potentially complimentary approaches to treating neurodegenerative diseases with cellular therapies – stem cells can be used to replace dead, damaged or dying neurons, or can be used to support damaged or dying neurons, through a variety of mechanisms including quieting the immune system and inflammation, secretion of growth factors, and differentiation into glial cells.
The first approach presents some important technical challenges, particularly in neurology – not only must one deliver neurons or cells that will turn into neurons, but one must insure those neurons are in the right place and making the right connections with other neurons in the central and/or peripheral nervous system, or with other tissues like muscle. Mesenchymal stem cells, also called mesenchymal stromal cells, or MSCs, are an example of the second approach and have been used by researchers to treat a variety of conditions, including some neurodegenerative diseases.
We have made a major advancement on the use of mesenchymal stem cells with our NurOwn® technology platform.