Keio Team to Start World’s First Clinical Trail of New Spinal Injury Treatment
Keio University School of Medicine has announced that, in June 2014, it will begin the world’s first clinical trial using a special protein, named hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), to regenerate the spinal cord shortly after injury due to accidents.
Previously, the team led by Prof. Hideyuki Okano reported that injection of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), a protein that promotes hepatocyte proliferation, into spinal cord after injury led to prevention of nerve cell death and regeneration of the cells in experiments using animals including mouse.
In the forthcoming clinical trial, recombinant human HGF (rhHGF) will be injected into the lower back of patients at least three days after spinal cord injury and once weekly thereafter for 4 weeks while applying rehabilitation, and recovery condition evaluated 6 months after the 5th injection. The efficacy and safety of the treatment will be assessed in 48 patients during the study period of 28 months, thereby identifying effective treatment for acute spinal cord injury.
The team expects that, in combination with other therapeutic modalities including introduction of iPS cells, rhHGF will also offer a new way to treat spinal cord injury in the “chronic phase” (especially, 6 months or more after injury).