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 ( and published online at the journal website ( 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.”

Productive NEPHSTROM meeting at Leiden

The NEPHSTROM consortium enjoyed a constructive meeting at the end of May, hosted by Prof. Wim Fibbe and his team at theLeiden University Medical Centre in Leiden. Over the course of the two day meeting, progress was reviewed, plans were refined and preparations for the next six months of collaboration were made.

The photo shows the consortium in the University of Leiden’s historic Pieterskerkplein.

NEPHSTROM Leiden Meeting


NEPHSTROM registered on

The NEPHSTROM project has registered its clinical trial on the open-access public clinical trials repository, This is an important step, and ensures that any scientist or member of the public can identity NEPHSTROM and its aims, approach and results. This is valuable for researchers who want to review all trials in a particular disease, or using a particular type of therapy. See the online information here

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EU-MSC2 meeting report released

Nephstrom Video

Excellent project meeting at Bergamo

The consortium enjoyed a constructive meeting at the end of November, hosted by Prof Beppe Remuzzi and his team at the Insitute Mario Negri in Bergamo. Progress was reviewed, plans were refined and preparations for the next six months of collaboration were made.

The photo shows the consortium at the Institute Mario Negri.

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NEPHSTROM in the Media again

NEPHSTROM partner NHSBT received good coverage in the UK and international diabetes media in October.

Diabetes breakthrough: New stem cells that can halt kidney disease about to be tested, 19 Oct 2015, UK, Keyword: NHS Blood and Transplant, Journalist: Jon Austin
Dr Eric Austin, head of Stem Cell Immunotherapy at the Advanced Therapy Unit within the Stem Cells and Immunotherapies department at NHS Blood and Transplant’s site in Speke, Liverpool, said: “This is an exciting project for us to be involved with – especially as the treatment has the potential to lead to life saving outcomes for a major illness.

Also reported in:Screenshot 2015-11-18 18.59.03

PA News Wire, 20 Oct 2015

The project also enjoyed coverage in

  • The Diabetes Times
  • Diabetes
  • StarMine News
  • PharmaTimes Digital

Looking forward to Bergamo

This month (November) sees the consortium assemble in Bergamo for our second plenary meeting (the first one since the kick-off in Dublin). The meeting is hosted by Beppe Remuzzi and his team at the Istituto Mario Negri (IRFMN). We look forward to catching up on all the news from the cell production centres, and to putting in place the facilities to carry out the clinical trial (led, of course, by IRFMN).


NEPHSTROM presents at EU-MSC2