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On the 8th June, BlueRock Therapeutics put out a press release announcing that the first participant in their Phase I clinical trial of cell transplantation for Parkinson’s had been dosed (Click here to read the press release).
The initiation of this clinical trial by the company is a major step forward for them and for the wider field of regenerative therapies.
In today’s post, we will look at what cell transplantation is, recent developments in clinical trials, and what the immediate future holds.
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Source: The Scientist
Here on the SoPD, we work around the idea that any “curative therapy” for Parkinson’s is going to require three core components:
- A disease halting mechanism
- A neuroprotective agent
- Some form of restorative therapy
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative condition, meaning that symptoms are gradually going to get worse over time. Thus, the first and most critical component of any ‘cure’ for Parkinson’s involves a treatment that will slow down or halt the progression of the condition.
Once such a therapy has been identified, it will be necessary to rejuvenate and protect the remaining cells. So, some form of neuroprotective therapy that can help bring sick or dying cells back to life will be required.
Such a treatment will also provide a nurturing environment for the third part of the ‘cure’: A restorative treatment. New cells will be required to replace the lost function.
Now, the bad news is (as far as I am aware) there is no single treatment currently available (or being tested) that can do all three of these things. By this I mean that there is no “disease halting mechanism” therapy that can also replace lost brain cells. Nor is there a restorative therapy that stop the progression of the condition.
That statement can obviously be read as terrible news, but it shouldn’t.
Let me explain: