NUIG researchers publish on ‘The Promise of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Diabetic Kidney Disease’

Matthew GriffinNEPHSTROM researchers based at the National University of Ireland, Galway have published a review paper entitled “The Promise of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Diabetic Kidney Disease” in the journal “Current Diabetes Reports”. The review is listed on PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27007719) and published online at the journal website (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11892-016-0734-6). Senior author, Prof. Matthew Griffin of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway’s School of Medicine comments: “In this article, we have summarised the current state-of-the-art regarding the potential value of MSC infusions in people who are losing kidney function as a result of progressive diabetic kidney disease (DKD). The key messages that come across are that there has been a consistent set of observations in various animal models to indicate that infusion of MSCs favourably modulates the pathological course of DKD through anti-inflammatory and other mechanisms. In some but not all published studies, an added benefit of improved blood glucose levels was also observed. However, while the safety of MSC infusion in humans is now well documented in a range of acute and chronic diseases, there has been very little clinical trial activity to date in DKD and other diabetic complications. Thus, the central aim of NEPHSTROM to conduct a Phase 1b/2a clinical trial of the allogeneic MSC product ORBCEL M® will significantly advance our clinical knowledge in this area. Another aspect of the field that we emphasise in our review is the urgent need to identify measurable factors (biomarkers) in blood or urine that track with the rate of progression of DKD and can serve as early indicators of response to MSC therapy. Ideally, such biomarkers will also provide a quantifiable link to the specific mechanisms of action of the administered cells in the human body. Within the NEPHSTROM project, our research team is developing a panel of candidate biomarker assays with a view to longitudinally tracking these in biological samples from clinical trial subjects at 4 leading European centres.”