A new pre-clinical study for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) was recently announced by Cellular Biomedicine Group Inc. (CBMG). The company will employ human adipose-derived mesenchymal progenitor cell therapy to treat COPD. In this phase, the study will evaluate the strategy’s safety and efficacy.
COPD is an obstructive lung disease characterized by impaired air flow escalating with time. Its symptoms include shortness of breath, cough and mucus production. While tobacco use is the major cause for COPD, genetic and environmental causes were also shown to play a role in COPD. Currently, treatment of COPD aims to control symptoms and limit lung damage using corticosteroids and bronchodilators administered via inhalation. However, no treatment is available to reverse the damaged lung tissue.
In the pre-clinical trial to be initiated, CBMG – a company engaged in developing new treatments for a wide-range of diseases — will employ its extended knowledge with stem cells to treat COPD. The human adipose-derived mesenchymal progenitor cells (haMPC) are located in the fat tissue and have the potential to, under the correct stimuli, differentiate into bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, tendon or marrow cells. The fat tissue is highly enriched in mesenchymal stem cells, which can easily be obtained via liposuction and with simple isolation procedures. Thus, haMPC can be used to repair damage lung tissue, thereby with important implications to COPD patients.
Dr. Wei (William) Cao, Chief Executive Officer of Cellular Biomedicine Group, Inc., noted, “COPD poses a high economic and social burden on families and communities in China, due to the expense of prescription drugs and the impact on quality of life, with many patients deteriorating to the point of being unable to work and a shortened life span. Over 32 million people in China2 suffer from COPD, so the need for innovative solutions is pressing as this disease represents a significant unmet medical need. We are very excited to investigate further the potential application of regenerative medicine technology in the field of respiratory disease.”