Injectable Stem Cell Therapies Could Improve Outcomes for a Wide Array of Rare Diseases


A company called Medipost is developing a new treatment for osteoarthritis which is injectable. Currently, the number of treatments available for this condition are extremely limited and oral drugs or surgical options are not always ideal for patients.

This new therapy is called SMUP-IA-o1. It its a mesenchymal stem cell therapy which researchers believe could more directly treat the affected joint in the knee. The therapy has received approval for an initial Phase 1 trial which is still underway. The first round of treatments was completed in October 2019. This research is being conducted at Seoul National University.

This trial will provide important data on the versatility of the therapy for treating other joints besides knees such as the hips and ankles.

This research is still in the early stages but researchers are optimistic about its promise.

Other ailments that the team believes SMUP-Cells may benefit are dementia, hair loss, and diabetic nephropathy.

Other Ventures

In addition to SMUP-IA-01, Medipost is continuing their work with cord blood storage. This blood is stored for future potential stem cell therapies. These may treat polio, developmental disorders, and cerebral palsy among others.

Cord blood can be stored for 40 years or longer. First open in 2000, Medipost’s bank is now the largest cord blood bank in Korea. As of November 2019, they were storing blood for 247,934 families.

Furthermore, Medipost has an investigative preventative therapy for bronchopulmonary dysplasia in a Phase 2 trial in Korea. It has already completed a Phase 1/2 trial in the United States. The therapy is called Pneumostem.

Finally, a stem cell treatment called Neurostem has completed a Phase 1 trial for Alzheimer’s disease. A Phase 2a trial is currently underway.

In recent years, stem cell therapies have developed dramatically and companies like Medipost are helping to ensure these new treatments reach patients faster.

You can read more about this progress here.

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