New stem cell research unlocks unknown therapies
[PRESS RELEASE May 21 2009] New treatments for the devastating Parkinson's disease and ALS are in clinical studies in Sweden, thanks to breaking new stem cell research. This news was presented today by Dr Jonas Frisén, Professor of stem cell research at Karolinska Institutet, at the world's largest biotech convention, BIO 2009 in Atlanta.
"Stem cell research and regenerative medicine are in an extremely exciting phase right now. We are gaining knowledge very fast and many companies are being formed and are starting clinical trials in different areas," says Dr Jonas Frisén.
As an example, a first-in-human study was just initiated for Parkinson's disease patients with the drug product, sNN0031, from the Swedish company NeuroNova. The drug, which is administered into the fluid-filled cavities of the brain, has shown long lasting recovery and formation of new cells in animal models of Parkinson's disease. Last year, a treatment for ALS entered the clinical trial phase.
Disorders in the brain and nervous system result in more hospitalizations than any other disease group, and treatments entail large costs to society. The research field of neuroscience is one of Sweden's finest. This had resulted in achievements within numerous areas of basic science with considerable scope to direct clinical applications. These include research advances concerning the origin and repair of nerve cell damage following stroke and spinal cord injury, as well as research into major degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
Dr Frisén is one of Sweden's leading stem cell researchers, since many years with a focus on nerve stem cells. Among his most recent publications is an article in Science, April 3rd, 2009 where evidence is shown for renewal of heart muscle cells in humans, a result that can be used to develop therapeutic strategies for cardiac pathologies.
NeuroNova AB is a Swedish biopharmaceutical company working with neurogenesis and neuroprotection for treatment of several currently incurable neurodegenerative diseases. Dr Jonas Frisén is the scientific founder of NeuroNova.