Mesoblast, an Australian biotech company, has received FDA permission to launch a mid-stage trial of its adult stem cell therapy for spinal disc disease. Researchers for the company believe that they're onto a new therapy that can replace the current method for spinal fusion (fusing two discs together with a section of the patient's hip bone). Mesoblast believes that adult stem cells can be used instead, bypassing some common side effects of current spinal fusion techniques. About 300,000 spinal fusion procedures are done each year in the United States. And within a couple of years, researchers say, they believe the process can be advanced as a therapy for early-stage spinal disc disease, allowing the discs to regenerate discs and avoid the need for a surgical procedure later.
- read the report on the stem cell trial from The Age