INDIANA (WEHT) – An Indiana University (IU) researcher has developed a new therapy for the treatment of ALS.

IU researcher Chandler Walker, Ph.D., has developed a new stem cell-based secretome therapy. According to IU, secretome refers to the secretions of tissue or cells that can be harvested for therapeutic or other purposes.

Officials say ALS is a rare neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement and causes the gradual degeneration and death of upper and lower motor neurons in the central nervous system. A news release says death of motor neurons is a hallmark of ALS, but other cells in the brain and spinal cord, as well as peripheral myelinating cells and skeletal muscle, all play a role in disease progression.

Walker said, “For neural disorders and diseases like ALS, a multi-factorial approach to therapy is the most beneficial for patients. This secretome therapy could also have a therapeutic affect for other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.”

IU says Walker and his team will continue their studies on the therapeutic composition of the secretome, hoping to eventually produce a clinic-ready therapy for ALS patients, thanks to $700,000 in funding from Neurodegenerative Disease Research.

Officials say Walker has also partnered with IU School of Medicine’s Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing Center to optimize and produce ASC secretome for FDA approval and a Phase I clinical trial. The new release says Walker is optimistic that the team will have clinical-grade ASC secretome ready for clinical application in the next six to 12 months.

For more information about Walker, please go here.