BioTime Inc announces the issuance of a Notice of Allowance for a patent for a method of reducing spinal cord injury (SCI)-induced parenchymal cavitation in patients that have suffered an acute spinal cord injury.

The claimed method involves injecting oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) derived from human pluripotent stem cells into the SCI site and covers both human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell-derived OPCs.

The patent, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for United States Patent Application No. 15/156,316, would have a term that expires no earlier than 2036, according to a media release.

“We believe OPC1 acts via several distinct mechanisms to aid the recovery of SCI patients, one of which is the prevention or reduction of cavitation, and we are pleased at having received an allowance on this important patent, which we believe further enhances our OPC1 cell therapy program,” says Brian M. Culley, chief executive officer of Alameda, Calif-headquartered BioTime, in the release.

“Cavitation is a destructive process that occurs within the spinal cord following injuries and typically leads to permanent loss of motor and sensory function. Patients with cavitation may develop a condition known as syringomyelia, which results in additional neurological and functional damage and can result in chronic pain.

A key finding from our Phase I/IIa SCiStar clinical study of OPC1 for treating acute SCIs was that 95% of subjects showed evidence that OPC1 cells engrafted at the injury site and helped to prevent cavitation, which was confirmed via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans,” Culley continues.

The SCiStar trial is an open-label, single-arm trial testing three sequential escalating doses of OPC1 administered at up to 20 million OPC1 cells in 25 subjects with subacute motor complete (AIS-A or AIS-B) cervical (C-4 to C-7) SCI, per the release.

[Source(s): BioTime Inc, Business Wire]