Mesoblast emboldened by lung disease treatment results
1 June 2020, Written by Matt Ogg
Melbourne-based regenerative medicine company Mesoblast (ASX: MSB) has released positive results for the treatment of chronic lung disease, reinforcing management's hopes around a separate trial with severe COVID-19 patients.
A Phase 2 trial in the US involved intravenous doses of stem cell product remestemcel-L, randomised with placebos, in 60 patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Significant health improvements were seen for patients with elevated levels of the inflammatory biomarker C-reactive protein (CRP) - a factor that tends to indicate a higher chance of hospitalisation or death.
High CRP rates are also seen in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the most common life-threatening complication from COVID-19.
The peer reviewed results were released in a virtual presentation to the 2020 International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT) annual meeting held May 28-29, 2020.
Key findings were:
Mesoblast chief medical officer Dr Fred Grossman says the correlation between the highest CRP levels and the greatest degree of response to remestemcel-L suggest the product's immunomodulatory effects may be triggered by inflammation.
"Since recurrent hospitalisation rates and mortality in COPD are associated with both high levels of CRP and progressive decline in the sixminute walk test, these results suggest that remestemcel-L could provide longer-term benefits for COPD patients with high levels of inflammation," says Grossman.
"They also provide a compelling rationale for the evaluation of remestemcel-L in the current United States Phase 3 randomized controlled trial of 300 patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 ARDS."
Updated at 11:38am AEST on 1 June 2020.
Author: Matt Ogg