University Hospitals Case Medical Center will be one of 25 institutions in the U.S. to take part in a phase 2 clinical trial of a stem cell treatment for stroke developed by Cleveland-based Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX).
The Plain Dealer reports that MultiStem will be administered via a one-time IV infusion to 140 patients at UH and the other sites over the next 18 months to test for effectiveness and safety.
Ischemic stroke appears to be the most promising application of MultiStem, an off-the-shelf stem cell treatment derived from the bone marrow of adults or other nonembryonic sources that’s also being tested for use in treating blood diseases, traumatic brain injury, heart attack, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Caused by a blood clot in the brain, ischemic stroke accounts for 87 percent of all stroke cases and represents a market that Athersys executives have pegged at $15 billion. Current treatment referred to as clot-buster therapy has to be administered within four and a half hours after stroke to be effective; MultiStem can be delivered 24 to 36 hours after stroke.
Athersys first outlined plans for this phase 2 clinical study back in September.