Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: AST), a leading biotechnology company in the emerging field of regenerative medicine, announced today that Atlanta-based Shepherd Center, one of the nation’s top rehabilitation hospitals for spinal cord injury and brain injury, has commenced enrollment for the Phase 1/2a clinical trial of AST-OPC1 (oligodendrocyte progenitor cells) in newly injured patients with sensory and motor complete cervical spinal cord injury (SCI).
The Phase 1/2a trial follows the successful completion of the Phase 1 trial of AST-OPC1, which met its primary endpoints of safety and feasibility when administered to five patients with neurologically complete, thoracic SCI. Shepherd Center was a site in the Phase 1 study and enrolled two of the five subjects in that study. Asterias intends to initiate enrollment for the Phase 1/2a trial at up to seven additional sites in the coming months.
“The Phase 1 study generated a strong package of data regarding the safety of AST-OPC1,” said Donald Peck Leslie, M.D., medical director of Shepherd Center and principal investigator for this study site. “With the Phase 1/2a clinical trial, we are excited to begin testing AST-OPC1 at the doses and in the population where it has the maximum potential to bring benefit to patients.”