Drug Found via iPS Use Effective in Delaying ALS Progression

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Tokyo, May 20 (Jiji Press)--A potential drug for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis found using induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells has been confirmed effective in delaying progression of the neurodegenerative disease, a Japanese team said Thursday.

A one-year trial has demonstrated that the potential drug, already used as a Parkinson’s disease treatment, slowed the ALS progression about seven months, the Keio University research team said, adding its safety has also been confirmed.

ALS is an intractable disease in which nerve cells that control muscle movements die, causing muscle weakness that affects the ability to walk, speak, eat and breathe. Japan has an estimated 10,000 ALS patients.

Keio University professor Hideyuki Okano and his colleagues created nerve cells in a diseased state from iPS cells derived from the blood of ALS patients.

After testing various drugs, the team found that ropinirole hydrochloride is effective in curbing the death of nerve cells. In 2018, the team announced the start of a clinical trial using the potential ALS drug.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press