TEL AVIV, March 24 Israel-based BrainStorm Cell
Therapeutics said on Monday the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office has granted the company a key patent for its
autologous stem cell technology.
The patent covers BrainStorm's stem cells induced to secrete
elevated levels of neurotrophic factors for the treatment of
Pending approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration,
the company is preparing for its upcoming mid-stage Phase II
trial in the United States with its NurOwn adult stem cell
BrainStorm is developing NurOwn for the treatment of
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's
Disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects
nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Separately, the company said it has signed a definitive
agreement with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to
conduct a Phase II clinical trial of NurOwn in ALS, pending FDA
approval. The other two clinical sites slated for the trial are
the University of Massachusetts Memorial Hospital and Mayo
"The recent bill introduced to the U.S. Senate to support
regenerative medicine research is yet another indication of the
increasing recognition that stem cells hold the promise for
curing life-threatening and debilitating conditions like ALS,"
said Chaim Lebovits, BrainStorm's president.
"We are very encouraged by the bill's proposal to appoint a
council that would develop and maintain a national strategy for
the promotion of regenerative medicine research and
(Reporting by Tova Cohen)