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    Parkinson's disease is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra leading to disabling deficits. Dopamine neuron grafts may provide a significant therapeutic advance over current therapies. We have generated midbrain dopamine neurons from human embryonic stem cells and manufactured large-scale cryopreserved dopamine progenitors for clinical use. After optimizing cell survival and phenotypes in short-term studies, the cell product, MSK-DA01, was subjected to an extensive set of biodistribution, toxicity, and tumorigenicity assessments in mice under GLP conditions. A large-scale efficacy study was also performed in rats with the same lot of cells intended for potential human use and demonstrated survival of the grafted cells and behavioral amelioration in 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned rats. There were no adverse effects attributable to the grafted cells, no obvious distribution outside the brain, and no cell overgrowth or tumor formation, thus paving the way for a future clinical trial. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Jinghua Piao, Susan Zabierowski, Brittany N Dubose, Ellen J Hill, Monalisa Navare, Nidia Claros, Siera Rosen, Kiran Ramnarine, Callie Horn, Craig Fredrickson, Karen Wong, Brent Safford, Sonja Kriks, Abderrahman El Maarouf, Urs Rutishauser, Claire Henchcliffe, Yongzeng Wang, Isabelle Riviere, Shannon Mann, Vladimir Bermudez, Stefan Irion, Lorenz Studer, Mark Tomishima, Viviane Tabar. Preclinical Efficacy and Safety of a Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Midbrain Dopamine Progenitor Product, MSK-DA01. Cell stem cell. 2021 Feb 04;28(2):217-229.e7

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    PMID: 33545080

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