After FDA Approval, Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy Patient Receives First Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Treatment in the United States
Ryan Benton, a 28 year-old Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy patient from Wichita, Kansas, received his first umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cell treatment yesterday following US FDA approval of his doctor’s application for a single patient, investigational new drug (IND) for compassionate use.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a rapidly progressive form of muscular dystrophy that occurs primarily in boys. It is caused by an alteration (mutation) in a gene, called the DMD gene, which causes the muscles to stop producing the protein dystrophin. Individuals who have DMD experience progressive loss of muscle function and weakness, which begins in the lower limbs and leads to progressively worsening disability. Death usually occurs by age 25, typically from lung disorders. There is no known cure for DMD.
This trial, officially entitled “Allogeneic transplantation of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSC) for a single male patient with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)” marks the first time the FDA has approved an investigational allogeneic stem cell treatment for Duchenne’s in the United States.
Ryan received his first intramuscular stem cell injections from allergy and immunology specialist, Van Strickland, M.D at Asthma and Allergy Specialists in Wichita, Kansas. He will receive 3 more treatments this week on consecutive days. Dr. Strickland will administer similar courses to Ryan every 6 months for a total of 3 years.
This is not the first time Ryan has undergone umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell therapy. Since 2009, Ryan has been traveling to the Stem Cell Institute in Panama for similar treatments. Encouraging results from these treatments prompted Dr. Strickland to seek out a way to treat Ryan in the United States.
The stem cell technology being utilized in this trial was developed by renowned stem cell scientist Neil H. Riordan, PhD. Dr. Riordan is the founder and president of the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama and Medistem Panama. Medistem Panama is providing cell harvesting and banking services for their US-based cGMP laboratory partner.
Funding for this trial is being provided by the Aidan Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Riordan in 2004 to provide financial assistance for alternative therapies to people like Ryan.
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