A stem cell treatment developed by Australian biotech Mesoblast has been found in a clinical trial to be effective against rheumatoid arthritis.
Shares in Mesoblast rose by 2.6% to $1.16 in early trade.
A single intravenous infusion of the treatment, MPC-300-IV, improved symptoms, physical function and disease activity.
“These results support the potential of our allogeneic cell therapy to be positioned as a first-line treatment option,” says CEO Silviu Itescu.
He says the treatment is well-positioned to advance through a strategic partnership into development.
Dr Allan Gibofsky, professor of Medicine and Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College in the US, says the results of the study are very encouraging.
He says Mesoblast’s cell therapy has the potential to fill a major unmet medical need for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.
The phase 2 trial recruited 48 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis.
The global market for rheumatoid arthritis treatment is is about $15.7 billion. About one third of patients either do not sufficiently respond or cannot tolerate current treatments.
The stem cell treatment biotech is also working on treatments advanced chronic heart failure, bone marrow transplants, cancers and inflammatory bowel diseases.