Intra-arterial transplantation of HLA-matched donor mesoangioblasts in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

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Abstract

Intra-arterial transplantation of mesoangioblasts proved safe and partially efficacious in preclinical models of muscular dystrophy. We now report the first-in-human, exploratory, non-randomized open-label phase I–IIa clinical trial of intra-arterial HLA-matched donor cell transplantation in 5 Duchenne patients. We administered escalating doses of donor-derived mesoangioblasts in limb arteries under immunosuppressive therapy (tacrolimus). Four consecutive infusions were performed at 2-month intervals, preceded and followed by clinical, laboratory, and muscular MRI analyses. Two months after the last infusion, a muscle biopsy was performed. Safety was the primary endpoint. The study was relatively safe: One patient developed a thalamic stroke with no clinical consequences and whose correlation with mesoangioblast infusion remained unclear. MRI documented the progression of the disease in 4/5 patients. Functional measures were transiently stabilized in 2/3 ambulant patients, but no functional improvements were observed. Low level of donor DNA was detected in muscle biopsies of 4/5 patients and donor-derived dystrophin in 1. Intra-arterial transplantation of donor mesoangioblasts in human proved to be feasible and relatively safe. Future implementation of the protocol, together with a younger age of patients, will be needed to approach efficacy.

Synopsis

This study reports a safe, first-in-human mesoangioblast cell therapy to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in 5 young patients, using a successful preclinical strategy, as an exploratory non-randomized open-label phase I–IIa clinical trial of intra-arterial HLA-matched donor cell transplantation.

This study reports a safe, first-in-human mesoangioblast cell therapy to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in 5 young patients, using a successful preclinical strategy, as an exploratory non-randomized open-label phase I-IIa clinical trial of intra-arterial HLA-matched donor cell transplantation.

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