Stem cell drug approved in CanadaMay 24, 2012
Health Canada has approved Prochymal® (remestemcel-L), a stem cell therapy developed by a small company called Osiris Therapeutics in Columbia, Md. The drug will be used to treat cases of acute graft-vs-host disease (GvHD) in children, a complication resulting from bone marrow transplantation. GvHD kills up to 80% of children affected.
The release of Prochymal® marks the world’s first regulatory approval of a stem cell therapy, and raises hopes for further advances in regenerative medicine.
Prochymal® is derived from the bone marrow of adult donors, not from embryonic stem cells, the use of which is controversial. The therapy is currently in Phase 3 trials for refractory Crohn’s disease and is being evaluated for the treatment of myocardial infarction and type 1 diabetes.
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