Human neural stem cells in patients with chronic ischaemic stroke (PISCES): a phase 1, first-in-man study

Lancet. 2016 Aug 20;388(10046):787-96. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30513-X. Epub 2016 Aug 3.


Background: CTX0E03 is an immortalised human neural stem-cell line from which a drug product (CTX-DP) was developed for allogeneic therapy. Dose-dependent improvement in sensorimotor function in rats implanted with CTX-DP 4 weeks after middle cerebral artery occlusion stroke prompted investigation of the safety and tolerability of this treatment in stroke patients.

Methods: We did an open-label, single-site, dose-escalation study. Men aged 60 years or older with stable disability (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale [NIHSS] score ≥6 and modified Rankin Scale score 2-4) 6-60 months after ischaemic stroke were implanted with single doses of 2 million, 5 million, 10 million, or 20 million cells by stereotactic ipsilateral putamen injection. Clinical and brain imaging data were collected over 2 years. The primary endpoint was safety (adverse events and neurological change). This trial is registered with, number NCT01151124.

Findings: 13 men were recruited between September, 2010, and January, 2013, of whom 11 (mean age 69 years, range 60-82) received CTX-DP. Median NIHSS score before implantation was 7 (IQR 6-8) and the mean time from stroke was 29 (SD 14) months. Three men had subcortical infarcts only and seven had right-hemisphere infarcts. No immunological or cell-related adverse events were seen. Other adverse events were related to the procedure or comorbidities. Hyperintensity around the injection tracts on T2-weighted fluid-attenuation inversion recovery MRI was seen in five patients. At 2 years, improvement in NIHSS score ranged from 0 to 5 (median 2) points.

Interpretation: Single intracerebral doses of CTX-DP up to 20 million cells induced no adverse events and were associated with improved neurological function. Our observations support further investigation of CTX-DP in stroke patients.

Funding: ReNeuron Limited.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Ischemia / complications*
  • Cerebral Infarction / etiology
  • Cerebral Infarction / therapy*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Stem Cells*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Putamen*
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Stroke / therapy
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United Kingdom

Associated data