In March, 2016, 21 year old Kris suffered a traumatic injury to his cervical spine when his car fishtailed on a wet road, hit a tree and slammed into a telephone pole. It left him paralyzed from the neck down.
Fast forward to summer. 10 million AST-OPC1 stem cells were injected into his paralyzed. cervical spine.
Two weeks after surgery, Kris showed some improvements. And three months later, he’s able to feed himself, use his cell phone, write his name, operate a motorized wheelchair and hug his friends and family.
AST-OPC1 cells are made from embryonic stem cells by carefully converting them into oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs), which are cells found in the brain and spinal cord that support the healthy functioning of nerve cells. This study is a part of a Phase 1/2a clinical trial that is evaluating the safety and efficacy of escalating doses of AST-OPC1 cells developed by Fremont, California-based Asterias Biotherapeutics.