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FDA Approves Trial to Use Schwann Cells for Paralysis Treatment

B0000061 Injection of retinal cellFlickr I Wellcome Images

The FDA has approved a stage 1 clinical trial that aims to use Schwann Cells as a treatment for recent Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs) that lead to paralysis. The trial is being conducted by the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, an organization founded by NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti after Nick’s son, Marc, sustained a SCI playing college football. According to Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, “The clinical trial will enroll eight participants with an acute thoracic SCI…[participants] will undergo a biopsy of a sensory nerve in one leg to obtain his or her own Schwann cells. The Schwann cells will then be grown in a culturing facility for three to five weeks to generate the number of cells necessary for transplantation, and to undergo the strict purification process. By the time the Schwann cells are surgically transplanted into the injury site, participants will be 26–40 days post-injury.”

Read it in Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News.