/PRNewswire/ -- Neuralstem, Inc. announced that the first patient to receive stem cell transplantation in both regions of the spinal cord has been treated in the ongoing Phase I trial of its spinal cord neural stem cells in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease). This is also the 16th patient to be treated in the trial altogether and the first patient returning to the trial for a second treatment.
In this treatment, the patient received five injections in the cervical (upper back) region of the spinal cord, in addition to the ten he received previously in the lumbar (lower back) region of the spine, for a total of 15 injections. This is the highest number of injections in the trial so far. Patient 16 is also the first patient in the world to receive stem cell transplants in both the lumbar and cervical regions of the spinal cord in an FDA-approved trial. Two additional previously-treated patients are expected to return to the trial this summer in this cohort, provided they continue to meet the inclusion requirements. The trial is taking place at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
"Transplanting the first of the returning patients represents a major milestone in the trial," said Dr. Karl Johe, PhD, Neuralstem's Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer. "The ability to safely administer multiple dosings to these patients is a key enabling step in administering the maximum safe dose. Not only are we dosing patients for a second time in this cohort, we are now dosing in both the lumbar and cervical regions of the spinal cord for the first time, where the stem cell therapy could support both walking and breathing."