Cynata Therapeutics Limited has recently announced the results from their preclinical trial of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived Cymerus™ mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), according to BioSpace. They are testing these cells as a treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is the hardening and scarring of the tissue in the lungs that is the result of an unknown cause. While medical professionals do not know the cause of this disease, they do have theories. They suspect that people have a genetic mutation that makes them more susceptible to environmental triggers, such as smoking cigarettes and viral infections. Symptoms include shortness of breath, a dry cough, decreased appetite, weight loss, and the clubbing of fingers and toes. These symptoms can develop slowly over time, making it difficult to obtain a diagnosis. Unfortunately, a diagnosis comes with a life expectancy of 3-5 years. Treatments are meant to address symptoms.
About the Study
Using a pre-clinical rodent model of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, researchers aimed to test the efficacy of the Cymerus MSCs. In comparison to the placebo, the cells led to improvements in airway resistance, fibrosis in the tissue surrounding the airways, dynamic lung compliance, swelling in the tissue of the airways, and epithelial and subepithelial thickness.
As fibrosis is common in the lungs of COVID-19 patients, researchers are also investigating this therapy for the treatment of the coronavirus. Cynata is actually conducting a Phase 2 trial to investigate how Cymerus MSCs respond to the fibrosis caused by the virus.
Hopefully data on this treatment continues to be positive, as it would address a severe unmet medical need in the medical community.