Posts Tagged ‘ISRAEL’

ALS adult stem cell trial = safe and effective | Reuters

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on January 19, 2012 at 9:28 am

(Reuters) – Data from the first ALS patients in a clinical trial treated with BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics adult stem cell therapy did not show significant side effects and the treatment has so far proven to be safe, the company said on Tuesday.

Israel-based BrainStorm is developing NurOwn for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year granted orphan drug designation to NurOwn. The FDA’s orphan drug program encourages the development of treatments for rare diseases by providing financial incentives.

“There have been no significant side effects in the initial patients we have treated with BrainStorm’s NurOwn technology,” said Dimitrios Karussis, the head of Israel’s Hadassah Medical Center’s Multiple Sclerosis unit, who is leading the clinical trial.

“In addition, even though we are conducting a safety trial, the early clinical follow-up of the patients treated with the stem cells shows indications of beneficial clinical effects, such as an improvement in breathing and swallowing ability as well as in muscular power.”

Patients in the trial are transplanted with stem cells derived from their own bone marrow and treated with the NurOwn stem cell technology.

The initial phase of the study is designed to establish the safety of NurOwn and will later be expanded to assess efficacy.

“Based on the interim safety report, the hospital ethical and safety committee granted the company approval to proceed with treating the next patients,” said Chaim Lebovits, president of BrainStorm.

According to the ALS Association, 5,600 people in the United States are diagnosed with the disease each year. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease — which has severely disabled British physicist Stephen Hawking — at any given time.

BrainStorm sees positive data in ALS stem cell trial | Reuters.

Muhammad Ali seeks ADULT STEM CELL treatment in Israel

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 26, 2010 at 7:47 pm

After years of waiting for an embryonic stem cell treatment, Muhamad Ali has finally accepted that ADULT STEM CELL treatments are the only way he is going to get better.  Thank god!  Michael J Fox, please pay attention! -dg


Muhammad Ali seeks ADULT STEM CELL treatment

by Graciemag Newsroom — February 23, 2010.

More American boxing legend Muhammad Ali will undergo a new type of treatment for Parkinson’s syndrome, a disease that has debilitated his health for decades.

The former pugilist’s daughter, Rashida Ali, revealed that her father is keen to try the treatment using [adult] stem cells. “Muhammad Ali’s daughter contacted us after hearing of our work with adult stem cells and assured us her father wants to take part in the tests we are doing.”

The treatment, initially meant for patients suffering from sclerosis, may be amplified to treat Pakinson’s disease patients, like the pugilist.

The tests performed on rats to combat sclerosis, including Parkinson’s, were a success. The next step is to prove its effectiveness on humans.


Muhammad Ali ended his career as a champion heavyweight in 1981. In 1984 he was diagnosed with the disease, which seriously affects one’s ability to communicate. Rumors abound that the head trauma from boxing caused the Parkinson’s, but was never scientifically proven.

Also see:

Oz, Oprah, Michael J Fox and Embryonic Stem Cell Research


Check out the video on Youtube of highlights from the legendary athlete’s career.  Click on the title of this article to open in a new page and see the video in larger format:

via Graciemag International » Muhammad Ali seeks treatment in Israel.


In BEST OF THE BEST on November 23, 2009 at 2:51 am

THis article has been revised. Please go here: https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/11/23/australian-swiss-cheese-leaves-bad-taste/

BrainStorm Reschedule Webcast Audio Conference

In BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS on October 15, 2009 at 12:27 pm

NEW YORK & PETACH TIKVAH, Israel–(Business Wire)– BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. (OTCBB:BCLI – News) , announced today that it will reschedule the webcast audio conference to update shareholders on its strategy and report on the way forward towards clinical trials. This event will be rescheduled for a later date to be announced soon. We apologize for any inconvenience.

via BrainStorm Announces That It Will Reschedule Its Webcast Audio Conference | Reuters.


Glasses could help stroke victims

In OFF THE BEATEN PATH on September 28, 2009 at 9:17 pm


Spectacles that help rewire the brain are being used to help frail and elderly patients walk again.

The specs, which cost around £1,600 and were developed in Israel, are designed for those who are unsteady on their feet.

They work by prompting the brain to send signals to nerves in the legs and feet to get moving.

Specs appeal: Glasses that help rewire the brain are being used to help frail and elderly patients who are unsteady on their feet

Specs appeal: Glasses that help rewire the brain are being used to help frail and elderly patients who are unsteady on their feet

One of the most effective ways of doing this is to project an image of a tiled black and white floor in front of the patient’s eyes.

As the patient steps forward, this image appears in the corner of each eyepiece. The floor appears to move towards them as their body advances. This provides a continuous brain prompt to stimulate movement.

Boosting activity in the elderly can improve muscle strength and reduce the risk of falls and fractures.

via Health news: The stem cell jab for prostate cancer and how glasses could help stroke victims | Mail Online.

BrainStorm Taps Israeli firm for Stem Cell Production

In BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS on August 31, 2009 at 11:29 am

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Taps Israeli CMO for Stem Cell Production

GEN News Highlights

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics inked a deal with Israeli firm Protein Production Services for cGMP production of its stem cell therapeutic for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The clinical-grade product will be used in a preclinical safety trial.

“As we announced on August 24 after securing new funding, BrainStorm now has both the financing and the production capabilities to achieve our goal of reaching human clinical studies in the coming year,” notes Rami Efrati, CEO.

BrainStorm’s technology allows for the differentiation of bone marrow-derived stem cells into functional neurons and astrocytes, as demonstrated in animal models. It has reportedly been tested on various animal models of neurodegenerative diseases.

The firm’s current focus is on ALS and Parkinson’s. The technology can be leveraged for treating other diseases including MS, Huntington’s disease, and stroke, according to BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics.

The company holds rights to develop and commercialize the technology through an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement with Ramot at Tel Aviv University, the technology transfer arm of the university.

via News: BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Taps Israeli CMO for Stem Cell Production ..

ReWalk – Robotic Legs

In ALL ARTICLES, OFF THE BEATEN PATH on May 26, 2009 at 9:47 am

Besides the freedom this device affords, I was particularly interested in the ancillary health benefits.  (see area in bold, 3rd paragraph) -dg


The Israeli-based Company Argo Medical Technologies has developed a device that enables people with lower limb disabilities to stand, walk, and even climb stairs. The device nick named “ReWalk” is suitable for anyone with functioning hands, arms, and shoulders.

“ReWalk” is a wearable, motorized, quasi robotic suit which allows for user-initiated mobility. Equipped with leveraging advanced motion sensors and actuation motors, the device operates using robotic control algorithms and real-time software running on on-board computers. Users are able to walk by using crutches while controlling suit movement through subtle changes in center of gravity and upper-body movements. The algorithms analyze upper-body motions, which are used to trigger and maintain walk patterns and other modes of operation, such as stair-climbing and shifting from a sitting to standing position while leaving the hands free at all times for self support.

Such active participation in mobility is both a significant health and emotional benefit for wheelchair users, who are able to restore some element of control over their mobility. Specifically, the inventors say the usage of ReWalk could decrease both the risk and severity of some of the most common health issues that often face wheelchair users – such as problems with the urinary, respiratory, cardiovascular, and digestive systems, as well as osteoporosis, pressure sores, and other afflictions. “By maintaining users upright on a daily basis, and exercising even paralyzed limbs in the course of movement, ReWalk alleviates many of the health-related problems associated with long-term wheelchair use. In addition to relieving suffering, this has a real impact on healthcare costs – cutting yearly expenses almost in half and enabling both insurers and individuals to redirect funds to other avenues” – say the scientists.

ReWalk inventors say their device can serve as a robotic therapeutic or physical training tool, used for intensive functional locomotion therapy at home or in medical institutions such as rehabilitation centers. Equipped with rechargeable batteries, the device can be worn all day long and in addition to walking is also designed to allow users to sit, climb stairs, ascend or descend slopes, and even drive a car.

ReWalk users are required to have a healthy cardiovascular system and bone density in addition to being able to freely use their hands and shoulders for walking with the crutches – the inventors say the device will certainly require a physician approval.

Although ReWalk’s pricing hasn’t been set so far, the inventors say they are targeting for an annual consumer price “comparable with typical average annual expenses of people confined to wheelchairs.” According to the company, the adoption of ReWalk by both private customers and institutions will result in significant cost reductions, as it will make redundant such appliances as standing devices, stair and bed lifts, and other mobility assistance apparatuses. “ReWalk users don’t require expensive powered wheelchairs – or the oversize vehicles and devices required to handle them. With ReWalk, users require only minimal additional mobility assistance – saving tens of thousands of dollars yearly” – said the inventors.

The device is scheduled for worldwide commercial deployment in 2010, by which time the company plans to conduct several clinical trials in rehabilitation centers across Europe and the US.

More information on ReWalk, including a video demonstrating the device, can be found at the company’s official website.

via ReWalk – Robotic Legs.

White Blood Cells Can Sprout ‘Legs’ And Move Like Millipedes

In ALL ARTICLES on May 5, 2009 at 11:14 am

Published 05/05/2009 – 8:40 a.m. EST



In research recently published in the journal Immunity, Prof. Ronen Alon and his research student Ziv Shulman of the Weizmann Institute’s Immunology Department show how white blood cells advance along the length of the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels. Current opinion maintains that immune cells advance like inchworms, but Alon’s new findings show that the rapid movement of the white blood cells is more like that of millipedes…


Fetal stem cells cause tumor in a teenage boy: Scientific American Blog

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 20, 2009 at 11:41 pm


“That tumor, it turns out, grew out of the (embryonic) stem cells, obtained from at least two aborted fetuses, used in his brain.”

Fetal stem cells cause tumor in a teenage boy

By Coco Ballantyne in 60-Second Science Blog- Feb 19, 2009 01:30 PM

In May 2001, Israeli parents of a nine-year old boy with a crippling disease that left him wheelchair-bound took their child to see doctors in Moscow. In a highly experimental procedure that was presumably unavailable in their home country, those doctors injected fetal stem cells into various regions of his brain.

The boy’s parents—they aren’t named in a report describing the case in this week’s PLoS Medicine—must have been desperate. The nine-year old suffered from ataxia-telangiectasia, a childhood disease that causes degeneration of parts of the brain that control muscle movements and speech. The symptoms include slurred speech, poor balance, impaired immune function, and the appearance of red spider veins called telangiectasias in the eyes, ears or cheeks.

There are no treatments for the disorder and the prognosis is dim; patients usually only make it into their teens or early twenties, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. While it’s unclear exactly what the Russian doctors were trying to achieve (the researchers who wrote the case report were not involved in the stem cell therapy), they must have been hoping that the injected cells would restore some function in his brain, or at least slow the disease progression. The boy went back for injections in 2002 and 2004, although it’s not clear from the report whether his condition improved as a result.

Then he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2005. That tumor, it turns out, grew out of the stem cells, obtained from at least two aborted fetuses, used in his brain.

via Fetal stem cells cause tumor in a teenage boy: Scientific American Blog.

Stem Cells: Ideology Or Science? – Michael J. Fox

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 20, 2009 at 11:23 pm


Stem Cells: Ideology Or Science?


Medical Advancement: It’s the supporters of embryonic stem cell research who have politicized science. The desperation of a family and the pressure to produce results may have produced a medical tragedy instead.

In the 2006 election, actor Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson’s, made a commercial for Democrats in which he urged voters to support Senate candidates who supported federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

As we noted then and do again, ESCR was not the “most promising” avenue of stem cell research. And no, that’s not because of a lack of federal funds, but rather with the difficulties of controlling the embryonic stem cells and what they turn into.

Unfortunately, it’s been almost impossible to have a rational debate about this. ESCR supporters view adult stem cell research as something pushed by pro-lifers whose real target is Roe v. Wade.

Adult stem cells culled from a patient’s body solve the rejection problem of ESCs and have already been used in hundreds of treatments and therapies of patients. But embryonic, or pluripotent, stem cells can’t seem to make it out of the laboratory.

They are called pluripotent because they can develop into any and every type of human tissue. That’s why some scientists prefer them. Problem is, they (embryonic stem cells) are hard to control and tend to develop into one of the most primitive and terrifying forms of cancer, a tumor called a teratoma.

In 2006, stem cell researcher Steven Goldman and colleagues at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York reported in the journal Nature Medicine that human embryonic stem cells injected into rat brains developed into cells that could lead to tumors.

As Princeton professor Robert George, who sat on President Bush’s bioethics panel, told National Review Online, “the tendency of embryonic stem cells to produce tumors makes it unethical to use them in human beings — even in experimental treatments.”

Yet just such an experimental treatment was reported Tuesday in the Public Library of Science’s journal, PLoS Medicine.

The family of an Israeli boy suffering from a lethal genetic brain disease sought a solution in the form of injections of fetal stem cells. The boy had been taken at age 9 to Russia, where he was injected with neural stem cells, from fetuses, that were expected to grow into new and healthy brain cells. The cells were injected into his brain and spinal cord twice more at ages 10 and 12.

Tragically, within a year of the last injection, teratomas developed in the boy’s brain and spinal cord.

ESCR defenders will say such a tragedy couldn’t happen here, where controls are more strict. And, they say, embryonic stem cell companies get around the teratoma problem by genetically altering the cells to a point where researchers are more certain the cells will develop into the desired tissue and not simply run amok.

This process to make embryonic cells safer makes them exorbitant to produce for medical purposes, to the point that even if you got a treatment that might work, it would be prohibitively expensive for general use.

What we do know is what we’ve reported recently: that adult stem cells, aside from their current application in treating a wide range of diseases and conditions, have produced impressive clinical results in new areas such as treating AIDS and Parkinson’s.

The Food and Drug Administration approved within three days of President Obama’s inauguration the first permission granted to test ESC treatments on human subjects. It OK’d an application from a California firm to inject stem cells from human embryos into people paralyzed from the chest down by spinal cord injuries.

Yet the media and many politicians have ignored adult stem cell successes and embryonic stem cell failures.

We hope that stem cell research of all types will be driven by sound science leading to real results, not by desperation or ideology. Otherwise, more such tragedies as the Israeli boy will result.

via Today in Investor’s Business Daily stock analysis and business news.

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