Archives for September 2015

Dr. Feldman presents ALS trial data at conference

Intraspinal transplantation of up to 16 million stem cells in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was safe and well-tolerated, and caused no acceleration in disease progression, according to data presented by Dr. Eva Feldman at the American Neurological Association’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Additionally, 70 percent of patients recovered to higher levels than those of the historic control.

“The results of Phase I and Phase II are very encouraging, and we plan to move forward and expand this trial in 2016,” said Dr. Feldman, the Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan, as well as Director of the Program for Neurology Research & Discovery, Director of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute, and Research Director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive ALS Clinic.

The data was collected through Phase I and Phase II of a trial that began in 2010. Phase II included 15 ambulatory patients with ALS. Participants were divided into five dosing cohorts with three patients in each, who received increasing quantities of cells in the cervical (upper) region of the spinal cord, ranging from two million to eight million cells. The fifth cohort received an additional eight million cells in the lumbar (lower) region.

The most common adverse effect of the stem-cell procedure was post-operative pain due to the surgery. One serious adverse event due to the surgical procedure was observed, but was not attributed to the cells themselves. The patient’s motor function was initially weakened, but then recovered to the patient’s ALS baseline.

Dr. Feldman to join prestigious NAM Oct. 18

Eva L. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., the Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology at the Medical School and director of the Program for Neurology Research and Discovery, will be inducted into the National Academy of Medicine during the organization’s Annual Meeting October 17-19 in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Feldman, who is also director of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute, is an internationally renowned expert in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.  She has devoted her career to finding new therapies and treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, and is at the forefront of applying stem cell research to human disease.

The National Academy of Medicine, founded as the Institute of Medicine, joined the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in July 2015 as the third academy overseeing the program units of the newly formed National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.