Patients in the study's first cohort all suffered a complete injury to the thoracic (chest-level) spinal cord. In a complete injury, there is no neurological function below the level of injury. All three patients were transplanted four to nine months after injury with a dose of 20 million cells at the site of injury. The surgery, immunosuppression and the cell transplants have been well tolerated by all the patients. There were no abnormal clinical, electrophysiological or radiological responses to the cells, and all the patients were neurologically stable through the first six months following transplantation. Changes in sensitivity to touch, heat and electrical stimuli were observed in well-defined and consistent areas below the level of injury in two of the patients, while no changes were observed in the third patient. Importantly, tests of perception of different sensory stimuli as well as measures of electrical impulse transmission across the site of injury correlate with the clinical examination, providing independent and objective confirmation of the changes in sensory function.
StemCells will host a live conference call and webcast, which will include Dr. Curt, on Tuesday, September 4, at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time (8:30 a.m. Pacific Time) to discuss the summary of the data. Interested parties are invited to listen to the call over the Internet via the Investors section of the Company's website at http://investor.stemcellsinc.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=86230&p=irol-irhome . An archived version of the webcast will be available for replay on the Company's website beginning approximately two hours following the conclusion of the live call and continuing for a period of 30 days.
About the Spinal Cord Injury Clinical TrialThe Phase I/II clinical trial of StemCells, Inc.'s HuCNS-SC® purified human adult neural stem cells is designed to assess both safety and preliminary efficacy. Twelve patients with thoracic (chest-level) neurological injuries at the T2-T11 level are planned for enrollment, and their injuries must have occurred within three to twelve months prior to transplantation of the cells. In addition to assessing safety, the trial will assess preliminary efficacy based on defined clinical endpoints, such as changes in sensation, motor function and bowel/bladder function. The Company has dosed the first three patients, all of whom have injuries classified as AIS A, in which there is no neurological function below the injury level. The injuries are classified according to the American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale (AIS). The second and third cohorts will be patients classified as AIS B and AIS C, those with less severe injury, in which there is some preservation of sensory or motor function.