Q and A: Dr. Huhn & Dr. Anderson

Q: Will there be rehab?

Yes.

Q: Congratulations!  Can you speculate about the anatomical substrate and the improvement in light touch?  Are you targeting the dorsal columns and the dorsal horn in humans?

One thing to consider is that these cells are incredibly migratory — in the mouse you can’t find the injection locus by density of cells.  They travel centimeters.  We think the cells won’t stay localized.  It may be that “complete” patients, that’s where we have detection sensitivity.  We’ll know a lot more when we get to the incompletes.

Q: To the mouse study people: Was there anything when you treated the acutes and the chronics that you did differently?

No, and we’ve seen recovery everywhere BUT in the immediate transplants.  We think it may be possible to extend the transplant time even further.  What’s going to be hard is doing combinations — you’re going to need a TON of safety information about how those combinations play out.

It’s likely that cells aren’t going to be the only thing, and that we’ll need to work very hard at creating designs for efficient trials.

Q: Are you working with inVivo to take advantage of their scaffolding?

We’re tracking it & trying to understand it  . . . this is an example of combinations we need to understand.

Q: Would it not make more sense to do a primate model instead of guessing with humans?

Primates are very interesting in terms of looking at SCI . . . one of our issues is immunorejection; when we work with mice, we’re going human to rodent.  (She’s making the case that it’s impossible to immunosuppress primates.)

When I look at the SCI trials that have been done in all kinds of animal models that have then failed at human levels, ultimately what we’re trying measure is what happens in humans.

Q: Could you measure myelin re-growth after the trial?

The hardware in those cords makes that very difficult . . . we can see it above and below, though.

Q: What to do if you’re interested in being in the clinical trial?

Here’s the link

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