(The following was issued by Israel’s BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc BCLI.OB):
May 29 - BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. (OTCBB:BCLI), a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies and therapeutics, announced today that in a pre-clinical study that was conducted with Tel Aviv University between February and May 2008, signs of impaired motor behavior in a rat model of Parkinson’s improved following transplantation of BrainStorm’s unique Neurotrophic Factor Cells (NTF).
“BrainStorm’s NTF cells are generated from adult human bone marrow derived stem cells, and indented for autologous transplantation in Parkinson’s patients. The cells produce and secrete neurotrophic factors, which are essential for the survival and outgrowth of neurons, and may become beneficial in neurodegenerative diseases,” explains Dr. Daniel Offen, Brainstorm Chief Scientist, and the study’s principal investigator.
In this study, Tel Aviv University scientists lesion the brains of lab rats by using the 6OHDA toxin, in order to mimic the motor dysfunction of parkinsonian patients. The rats were divided into three groups: one group was transplanted with BrainStorm NTF cells, another with undifferentiated mesenchymal stem cells and the third group was used as control.
The motor functions of the rats were repeatedly measured for 45 days, followed by histology. The results showed statistically significant improvement in NTF rats’ motor functions, in compared to the mesenchymal cell group and the controls.
Moreover, the NTF cells increased the level of the neurotransmitter Dopamine (a low amount of which causes Parkinson). The researchers also detected, 45 days post-transplantation, viable transplanted cells which migrated toward the impaired portion of the affected brain.
The Company believes that this is evidence of the integration ability of BrainStorm’s cells in the damaged brain. This is the second study completed using BrainStorm’s cells that produced similar results.
Prof. Eldad Melamed, Chairman of the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board and the Company’s Chief Medical Advisor commented, “These exciting results provide validation of our previous scientific work. The study indicates that our cells show survival, integration and clinical efficacy.
“When considering the advantages of using adult stemcells, which are easy to harvest, autologous, do not create tumor problem and do not present the moral/ religious issues that are often discussed with embryonic stem cells, we remain optimistic that we will soon be able to embark on clinical trials in Parkinson’s disease.”