The China Spinal Cord Injury Network (ChinaSCINet) reports that it used stem cells from umbilical cord blood transplants in order to regrow nerve fibers in patients with spinal cord injuries. ChinaSCINet claims that the combination of umbilical cord blood transplants and physical therapy allowed 15 out of 20 immobile patients to walk again, approximately seven years after injuring their spinal cords. ChinaSCINet completed the second round of tests and has applied for approval for the final phase of testing. The company hopes to begin the final trial in the fall. The third and final phase of testing would involve 120 Chinese patents, and 120 patients from the United States, Norway and India.
If the trial is successful China would become the center for stem cell therapies according to some. The issue of using stem cells in the United States is highly controversial; however China is “investing heavily into stem-cell research.” Read more about the study here.