Novel Veterinary Procedure Helps Pave Way for World’s First Spina Bifida Clinical Trial in Humans

Arthur and Sirius were born with spina bifida and were helped with a groundbreaking procedure at UC Davis.
Arthur and Sirius were born with spina bifida and were helped with a groundbreaking procedure at UC Davis.

Thanks to a university-wide collaboration between veterinarians, physicians, researchers, and biomedical engineers, a groundbreaking clinical trial has been approved in human medicine to treat spina bifida with stem cells.

UC Davis Health recently announced the launch of the world’s first, FDA-approved human clinical trial using stem cells before birth to treat the most serious form of spina bifida. The one-of-a-kind treatment will be delivered while the baby is still in the mother’s womb (in utero). It will be the standard surgical procedure combined with the use of a unique stem cell “patch” to repair the defect before birth.

Prior to this new clinical trial, UC Davis Health worked with the School of Veterinary Medicine to test the stem cell patch and surgical repair technique in dogs born with naturally occurring spina bifida. They found that it enabled the dogs to walk and that the stem cell treatment was safe.

Read full news release from UC Davis Health

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