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LCT shares rise as company completes Parkinson's trial

Wednesday 05 October 2016 01:47 PM

Living Cell shares rise as company completes first trial for Parkinson's treatment

By Fiona Rotherham

Oct. 5 (BusinessDesk) - Shares of Australasian biotech company Living Cell Technologies rose 7.4 percent to 8.7 Australian cents on the ASX today after it announced the completion of the first stage of a clinical trial underway in Auckland of its planned treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

The shares have bounced around a range of 4-to-11 Australian cents this year as the company awaits next year's outcome of the Phase 11b clinical trial of NTCELL, which would be the world’s first disease-modifying treatment for Parkinson’s.

The company said today it had completed treatment of all six patients in group one of the trial, with four having 40 NTCELL microcapsules implanted on each side of their brain while two patients had sham surgery with no implantation.

To date there have been no safety issues with any of the patients, it said. Results won’t be known until 26 weeks after the trial’s completion at which point patients who received the placebo will receive the optimal dose of NTCELL.

Next up, the Data Safety Monitoring Board will review the patients’ results and consider approving treating six patients in group 2 with the next dose of 80 NTCELL microcapsules.

Living Cell had no trouble getting patient recruitments for the trial after principal investigator Barry Snow presented data from an earlier successful Phase 1/11a clinical trial to prospective patients and their partners and supporters at meetings organised by Parkinson’s New Zealand.

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The company plans to complete group 2 by the end of this year. The third and final group of six receiving 120 NTCELL microcapsules should be completed in February next year.

If the results are successful, Living Cell will apply for provisional (fast track) consent to treat paying patients in New Zealand in the last quarter of 2017, including patients from other countries under a “medical tourism” model.

It will also confirm its next targets which are likely to be other central nervous system diseases such as Huntington’s and Alzheimer's.

Living Cell was founded in New Zealand in 1999 to develop a regenerative cell therapy involving transplanting cells from Auckland Island pigs into humans. The initial type 1 diabetes target is being pursued by its joint venture company, Diaztranz Otsuka, which is still some way off bringing a product to market.



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