(Reuters)—Mesoblast Ltd. on Monday said its experimental stem-cell treatment led to significant improvements of symptoms and disease activity in patients whose rheumatoid arthritis had stopped being helped by widely used biotech medicines, according to data from a mid-stage trial.
Treatment with the Australian company’s mesenchymal precursor cell (MPC) product, MPC-300-IV, was deemed well tolerated with no serious side effects or infusion-related adverse events in the 48-patient, 12-week Phase II study, the company says.
Among patients previously treated with at least one biologic drug, the common measure of 20% relief of signs and symptoms of the arthritis, known as ACR20, was achieved by 55% of those who received an infusion of 2 million cells per kilogram of weight. That compared with 33% in the placebo group who achieved ACR20.
The higher bar of ACR70, or 70% improvement, was achieved by 36% after one infusion of the Mesoblast treatment, compared with no patients in the placebo group who reported such an improvement.