Shepherd Center Seeks New SCI Patients for Clinical Trial

Shepherd Center in Atlanta is seeking newly injured spinal cord injury (SCI) patients to participate in a clinical trial sponsored by Asterias Biotherpeutics.

In a March 5 bulletin, Shepherd Center, a rehabilitation center specializing in SCI and brain injuries, said it had partnered with Asterias Biotherapeutics to test “an investigational product for people who have recently sustained a spinal cord injury. It is called AST-OPC-1 (oligodendrocyte progenitor cells).”

The goal of the clinical trial is to “bring about improvements in motor or sensory function of people with spinal cord injury, even if only modest improvements that could result in significant improvements in quality of life.”

To meet the trial’s criteria, patients must have a complete spinal cord injury in the C5 to C7 range; must be 18 to 65 years old at the time of injury; and be able to undergo surgery and receive the AST-OPC1 injection from 14 to 30 days post injury.

Patients with a “penetrative trauma” SCI or who have had a traumatic anatomical transection or laceration of the spinal cord from previous surgery or MRI would not be eligible.

Participants will need to be Shepherd Center patients, so the facility is seeking referrals from healthcare professionals of newly injured SCI patients who might qualify.

For more information about the clinical trial, call Issi Clesson (; 404-350-7651) or Michelle Tidwell (; 404-367-1317).

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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