NEWARK, Calif., Feb. 12, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- StemCells, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEM) today announced that the twelve-month data from the first patient cohort in the Company's Phase I/II clinical trial of its proprietary HuCNS-SC® product candidate (purified human neural stem cells) for chronic spinal cord injury continued to demonstrate a favorable safety profile, and showed that the considerable gains in sensory function observed in two of the three patients at the six-month assessment have persisted. The third patient remains stable. A summary of the data was presented today by Martin McGlynn, President and CEO, at the 15 th Annual BIO CEO & Investor Conference. By completing the twelve-month assessment, the first patient cohort has now completed the trial, and has entered into a separate follow-up study for long-term observation.
"The multi-segment gains observed in sensory function in two patients at six months have endured at the 12-month assessment. In addition, between the six- and 12-month evaluations, one patient converted from a complete to an incomplete injury," said Armin Curt, M.D., Professor and Chairman of the Spinal Cord Injury Center at Balgrist University Hospital, University of Zurich and principal investigator of the clinical trial. "Importantly, the persistence of these sensory gains at the 12-month evaluation was seen across more than one clinical measure. While much more clinical research needs to be done to demonstrate efficacy, the types of changes we are observing are unexpected and very encouraging given that these are patients in the chronic stage of complete spinal injury."
Mr. McGlynn added, "While we need to be cautious when interpreting data from a small, uncontrolled trial, to our knowledge, this is the first time a patient with a complete spinal cord injury has been converted to a patient with an incomplete injury following transplantation of neural stem cells. We are encouraged that the cells appear to convey clinical benefit in such severely injured patients. We are therefore hopeful that we will see similar or greater benefit in AIS B and C patients, who already have partial sensation and motor function below the level of injury which could be further augmented by cell transplantation."