Dedicated to identifying the cause of multiple sclerosis (MS), the Tisch MS Research Center of New York was formally launched in 2006. However, it grew out of the MS center at the Neurological Institute of New York of the Columbia University Medical Center, a group which Dr. Saud Sadiq joined in 1992.
Since that time, Dr. Sadiq has moved his research from a small 320 square foot laboratory into a 15,030 square foot facility that is now a not-for-profit research entity and the largest independent MS center in the world.
Importantly, the research center is paired with a clinical affiliate, the International Multiple Sclerosis Management Practice (IMSMP), of which Dr. Sadiq is also director. Though this clinical affiliate, thousands of MS patients now receive cutting-edge, comprehensive MS care.
In breaking news released January 13th, 2016, Dr. Sadiq announced that the Tisch MS Research Center of New York will be pursuing a Phase II clinical trial exploring the use of stem cells in the treatment of MS.
The announcement followed positive results from a FDA-approved Phase I stem cell trial. In this Phase I trial, MS patients received multiple spinal injections of neural progenitors derived from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (called MSC-NPs).
In addition to demonstrating positive safety and tolerability data, this Phase I trial was the first time in history that a treatment showed reversal of established disability in MS patients. Phase I patients with MS were observed to have clinical improvements in ambulatory function, limb strength, and bladder control, among other improvements.
As stated in a recent press release by Dr. Sadiq, Chief Research Scientist at Tisch MSRCNY:
“Our unprecedented Phase I results have propelled us into the next phase of research,” said Dr. Saud A. Sadiq, Chief Research Scientist at Tisch MSRCNY and the study’s principal investigator. He added, “No treatment has shown reversal of established disability in MS until now. The objective improvement experienced in bladder function, vision and walking speed in both secondary and primary progressive MS is remarkable. We now plan to establish efficacy of stem cells as a reparative therapy in Phase II.”
To learn more, view our recent interview with Dr. Saud Sadiq.
*Note: BioInformant thanks Dr. Sadiq and Pamela Levin of the Tisch MSRCNY for their assistance with this article.