Landmark Surgery for ALS Patient Ted Harada Set for Today
When Neuralstem (NYSE: CUR) announced that it had been successful in reversing the progression of ALS in 39-year-old Ted Harada, many wondered if researchers were finally on the cusp of a cure. Gizmodo chronicled the impressive story of the man, who showed signs of recovery last year after receiving an experimental stem cell treatment.
Harada is scheduled to receive one final surgery in Atlanta today at the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. This is the final part of an 18-patient Phase 1b trial. If all goes well, the study will advance to Phase 2.
In April, Eva Feldman (the principal investigator for the trial; she is also the director of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute and the U-M Health System's ALS Clinic) said that the study, "reinforces our belief that we have demonstrated a safe, reproducible and robust route of administration into the spine for these spinal cord neural stem cells."
"The publication covers data up to 18 months out from the original surgery," she said in a press release regarding the research. "However, we must be cautious in interpreting this data, as this trial was neither designed nor statistically powered to study efficacy."
National news media outlets, including FOX and CNN, have been covering the study and the progress that Harada -- who has reportedly become somewhat of a celebrity in Atlanta and within the medical community -- has been making.
During the Phase 1b portion of the trial, Neuralstem's primary goal is to prove that it is safe to inject stem cells into the spinal cord. If this proves to be safe, more human patients will be enrolled in the next phase.
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