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StemCells, Inc. Announces First Patient Cohort Completes Spinal Cord Injury Trial - Gains In Sensory Function Persist 12 Months After Stem Cell Transplant

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, and sensory function of all three patients was stable before transplantation of the HuCNS-SC cells. 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 have remained neurologically stable through the first 12 months following transplantation. Positive changes in sensitivity to touch, heat and electrical stimuli were observed in well-defined and consistent thoracic regions in two of the patients, while no changes were observed in the third patient.  Importantly, quantitative tests of specific sensory function, as well as electrophysiological measures of impulse transmission across the site of injury, show an  association  with the clinical examination, providing further objective confirmation of the sensory gains.

About the Spinal Cord Injury Clinical Trial           

The 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. 

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