The next MS breakthrough treatment may be in the works with a stem cell product called MultiStem. The proprietary and patented product is manufactured by Athersys, Inc. It is a biological product made from human stem cells that originate from adult bone marrow. Since it doesn’t require embryonic stem cells, the first source of concern is eliminated in that there won’t be attempts to block its development by activist groups opposed to the use of the embryo cells.

The potential MS breakthrough treatment is different from other stem cell technologies in that after they are isolated from the donor, the MultiStem product can be reproduced on a large scale for further use and can even be stored in a frozen state for future use.  When the cells are obtained from a single donor, they don’t require any genetic modification so they can be put to use in banks that can produce hundreds of thousands or even a million doses.  This is way more than other stem cell types are capable of.  This could result in a new MS breakthrough treatment like no other because it would essentially be available off the shelf for use as needed.


This MS breakthrough biological product acts like a drug


Even though MultiStem is a biological product, it really acts more like a drug.  They act mostly through the production of many and various factors that regulate the human immune system, protect damaged and injured cells, advance the body’s ability to repair tissue and heal cells, and the cells are eventually eliminated from the patient’s body after some period of time.


Another new MS breakthrough is that the product overcomes previous bone marrow stem cell limitations


Bone marrow and hematopoietic stem cell transplant trials have been limited by a few factors:

  • The traditional requirement to match the tissue between donor and patient
  • The traditional need for one donor for one patient.  This 1:1 ratio limits the number of patients that can be treated and adds significantly to the cost of treatment
  • The need in other treatments to use immune suppressing drugs so rejection doesn’t occur


And the most significant to patients of MS, breakthrough treatment with a biological product that can be mass produced with validated control and safety measures built-in.  The product shows promise not only for MS but also for ischemic injury, cardiovascular disease, some of the other neurological diseases, a variety of autoimmune diseases, and a multitude of orphan disease indications.