Researchers able to treat lupus symptoms in novel mouse model of the disease
SAN CARLOS, Calif. - December 12, 2006 Cellerant Therapeutics today announced the presentation of positive preclinical data using highly purified hematopoietic (blood forming) stem cells (HSC) in a mouse study of lupus at the 48th Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in Orlando, Florida.
Presented by Julie Christensen, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at Cellerant, the study demonstrated that by providing HSC treatment to therapeutic mouse models of lupus, without fully ablating their bone marrow cells prior to treatment, lupus symptoms were reversed or stabilized and the mice had significantly greater survival than comparison groups who were not transplanted or just received the conditioning therapy alone. The recipient mice developed durable mixed chimerism, where the hematopoietic system is a mixture of donor and recipient cells.
"Successfully treating active lupus in mice with pure hematopoietic stem cells through the creation of durable mixed chimerism is a novel approach and an important finding that corroborates anecdotal clinical reports," said Raymond J. Tesi, M.D., Executive Vice President of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs. "This novel approach may provide a strategy to treat and possibly cure autoimmune diseases such as lupus without the need for long-term medication and without the morbidity of myeloablative conditioning regimens."
"These promising preclinical data further validate Cellerant's unique use of pure hematopoietic stem cells for a wide range of therapeutic applications, including autoimmune disorders such as lupus, as well as for cancer and blood disorders," commented Bruce Cohen, Cellerant's President and CEO. "Because this unique cell population does not include immune system T cells from donors, it opens up the possibility of carrying out a stem cell transplant without the risk of inducing Graft Versus Host Disease. With further research, this represents a potentially attractive treatment option for patients suffering from chronic, and potentially life-threatening, diseases."
Cellerant's highly purified hematopoietic (blood-forming) adult stem cells are isolated from donors or patients undergoing stem cell transplants. This process is designed to provide an improved outcome when used for stem cell transplant indications where a high level of purity is desired or required. After purification, this material contains only stem and progenitor cells, with no detectable contaminating cells such as tumor cells or the T-cells which cause graft-versus-host disease in donor-to-patient transplants. Cellerant is developing hematopoietic stem cells for cancer, genetic blood disorders and autoimmune disease.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), also called lupus, is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the immune system attacking the body's own tissues and organs, leading to inflammation and damage. The severity of the disease varies, from mild cases only involving the skin to severe cases affecting multiple organs, including the brain. Lupus sufferers experience flares, or intervals of active disease, and remissions in disease. The disease most predominantly occurs in women of childbearing age, but also affects children, adolescents, and men. While the cause of lupus is still unknown, various genetic, environmental, and infectious causes have been associated with its development. Current treatments for lupus vary depending on the extent of the disease, and may change over time. Some medications used to ease symptoms include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antimalarial drugs, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressive medications, though many of these drugs carry their own risks.
Cellerant Therapeutics is a commercial-stage company developing a portfolio of products and services focused on the regulation of the hematopoietic (blood-forming) system. Our products are based on adult hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells as both therapeutic agents and targets for drug discovery. Visit our website at http://www.cellerant.com.
For more information on Cellerant, please contact:
Cellerant Therapeutics, Inc.
MacDougall Biomedical Communications