Longeveron Initiates Phase 2b Stem Cell Therapy Trial to Treat Aging Frailty

Longeveron LLC, a regenerative medicine company developing cellular therapies, announced today that it treated its first patient in the Company’s Phase 2b clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of Longeveron human Allogeneic Mesenchymal Stem Cells (LMSCs) in patients with Aging Frailty Syndrome. This trial is being conducted pursuant to an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) in conformance with U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. Aging Frailty is a common geriatric medical condition that is serious and life-threatening, and for which there are currently no U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved therapeutics available.

The clinical trial is designed to enroll 120 subjects from approximately 10 medical centers around the U.S.  The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the effect that LMSCs have on functional mobility and exercise tolerance in elderly Aging Frailty subjects.  Three different LMSC dose groups will be compared to placebo over 12 months in a randomized, double-blinded, parallel arm design. Specifically, the trial will evaluate changes to the following:

  • Timed walking distance, walking speed and ability to balance
  • Upper extremity strength
  • Fear and risk of falling
  • Patient-reported ability to perform activities of daily living
  • Cognitive function
  • Clinical events such as falls or hospitalizations
  • Level of inflammation within the body

“Frailty Syndrome is a very common and difficult situation to manage from a clinician’s and caregiver’s standpoint” stated Marco Pahor, M.D., Director of the Institute on Aging at the University of Florida. “The goal of intervention is to stop or slow the progression towards dependence and adverse health outcomes common to the syndrome, and to restore the patient to a state of healthy aging and functional independence. Longeveron’s regenerative medicine trial is an important step towards the development of an effective therapeutic.”

Allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were previously tested in a Phase I/2 proof-of-concept study conducted by investigators at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. In that study, MSCs were shown to be safe and well-tolerated in frail, elderly subjects in a Phase 1 open label single ascending dose trial (publication link here) with a similar safety profile observed in the randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study (publication link here) Subjects treated with a dose of 100 million MSCs showed significant improvements in six minute walking distance, and significant decreases in systemic inflammation, both relative to baseline.

“As individuals age, stem cell production and proliferation decreases, systemic inflammation increases, and a person’s ability to repair and regenerate worn out or damaged tissue diminishes” remarked Suzanne Liv Page, Longeveron Chief Operating Officer.  “In frail individuals this is particularly problematic. Our hypothesis is that exogenously infused allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells that are derived from the bone marrow of a healthy young donor, and culture expanded in our lab, will have potent regenerative and restorative effects.”

Participants in this study must be between the ages of 70 and 85, be diagnosed as mildly to moderately frail due primarily to aging, and be able to walk between 200 and 400 meters over six minutes. Detailed information about the trial, subject eligibility and participating centers can be found by clicking here or by visiting the website www.clinicaltrials.gov and entering trial ID: NCT03169231.