New stem cell treatment has potential to be first-line treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis patients

New stem cell treatment has potential to be first-line treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis patients

An Australian biotech company has developed a new stem cell treatment that has shown to be effective in the cure of rheumatoid arthritis. If the treatment turns out to be successful then it may prove immensely beneficial for patients suffering from the disease that affects an estimated 1.5 million adults in the United States.

Australian biotech Mesoblast carried out its phase II clinical trial in which it enrolled 48 patients having rheumatoid arthritis. As a part of the trial, the patients received an infusion of the new stem cell treatment.

Upon assessment, it was found that a single intravenous infusion of the mesenchymal precursor cell (MPC-300-IV) treatment was effective against the disease. The treatment lessened the severity of the symptoms and also brought improvements in the physical function and disease activity in patients. No side effects of MPC-300-IV were seen in the patients.

The researchers said that they also needed to find out whether the stem cell treatment is efficient and form that they needed to achieve a 20% relief of signs and symptoms among patients, a measure known as ACR20.

The ones treated with the stem cell treatment, 55% of them achieved the ACR20 and in the case of placebo group, 33% of them achieved the ACR20. If to consider a level higher known as ACR70, in it a 70% improvement in signs and symptoms are considered.

Out of the ones who received MPC-300-IV, 36% achieved ACR70 in comparison with none in the placebo group. Silviu Itescu, CEO of Mesoblast said that the study findings strengthen the potential of the therapy to be considered as the first-line treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis patients.

“The safety and efficacy results of this study are very encouraging and suggest that Mesoblast’s cell therapy has the potential to fill the major unmet medical need" for patients who cannot take biologic treatments”, affirmed Dr. Allan Gibofsky from Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.