Positive results from stem cell research company Mesoblast's (ASX: MSB) chronic back pain treatment trial have boosted investor confidence sending the group's shares higher this morning.
Shares in MSB are up more than 5 per cent at the time of writing, with the market encouraged by an announcement from the biotech showing its stem cell treatment for chronic lower back pain is "safe, durable, and effective".
Phase 3 trial results have shown that a single injection of MBS's rexlemestrocel-L in 404 enrolled patients suffering from lower back pain due to degenerative disc disease results in at least two years of pain reduction.
Further, Mesoblast says the greatest benefits are seen when the mesenchymal precursor cell (MPC) therapy is administered earlier in the disease process before the irreversible degeneration of the disc has occurred.
Importantly, Mesoblast CEO Dr Silviu Itescu says his company's treatment means fewer patients will be reliant on addictive opioid-based drugs.
"The durable pain reduction for at least two years from a single administration indicates that rexlemestrocel-L has the potential to change the treatment paradigm for chronic low back pain due to inflammatory disc disease, a condition that affects as many as seven million patients across the United States and Europe, and to prevent or reduce opioid use and dependence," says Itescu.
The Phase 3 study was conducted across 48 sites, predominantly in the US.
Significantly greater pain reduction was reported in the patient subset of opioid users too.
"In the midst of the opioid epidemic in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has prioritised a focus on the new therapeutics that target both pain reduction and opioid avoidance," says MSB.
"In addition to assessing the durability of pain reduction with rexlemestrocel-L treatment, this study evaluated primary outcomes using composite measures of pain reduction together with functional responses to treatment, as well as exploratory composites of pain reduction and functional responses in the context of opioid reduction."
Mesoblast will meet with the FDA to discuss the results of the trial.
Today's announcement is a coup for MSB, which saw its shares crash in late-2020 after its COVID-19 treatment trial was canned.
Shares in MSB are up 5.08 per cent to $2.67 per share at 11.46am AEDT.
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