The STEM-PD Team

Both the teams in Lund and Cambridge have a long history and strong track record in developing cell replacement therapy for Parkinson’s disease.

The first-in-man clinical trial utilising fetal dopaminergic progenitors was performed in Lund, Sweden in the 1980’s. This sparked more trials, both in Lund and in other centres across the world. The data so far has been variable. Some patients have had excellent clinical response and stopped all their Parkinson’s medications, others had more modest 

effects and a small group of patients developed an adverse event known as graft-induced dyskinesias and required further neurosurgical intervention. Analysis of the data has so far suggested that factors related to patient selection, as well as cell preparation are likely to explain the variation in clinical response in patients. The longest-term follow up and proof that cell replacement therapy can work for people with PD has been generated by members of the STEM-PD team and collaborators (Kefalopoulou 2014, et. al.).

A recent clinical trial (TransEUro), undertaken by the members of STEM-PD, sought to optimise patient selection and transplantation techniques utilising fetal tissue as a cell source. This trial is currently being completed and hopes to produce fewer variable outcomes between individuals.

One key limitation highlighted in these efforts was the constraints that sourcing adequate quantities of suitable fetal tissue placed on the trial. Since stem cell-derived dopamine progenitors can be generated in large quantities that can be stored for a long time and extensively tested, this new technology avoid some of the main difficulties that are associated with using fetal tissue as a cell source.

Malin Parmar

 Project lead – Professor, Lund University

Agnete Kirkeby

Pre-clinical development lead – Associate Professor, Lund University

Roger Barker

Clinical Lead & Principal Investigator – Professor, University of Cambridge and Honorary Consultant Neurologist, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Håkan Widner

Sponsor representative/co-investigator – Docent, Lund University and Senior Consultant Neurologist, Skåne University Hospital in Lund

Gesine Paul-Visse

Principal Investigator – Adjunct Professor, Lund University and Senior Consultant Neurologist, Skåne University Hospital in Lund

Hjálmar Bjartmarz

Co-Investigator – Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon, Skåne University Hospital in Lund

Paola Piccini

Brain imaging expert – Professor of Neurology, Imperial College London

Institutions involved in the project

Lund University

Project lead, owner of STEM-PD product
and site of product development.

Skåne University Hospital

Sponsor of the STEM-PD trial and site
of surgical implantation for all patients.

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust (CUH)

Trial coordination and planned secondary
site of trial for patient recruitment.

University of Cambridge

STEM-PD development and trial planning.

Imperial College London

PET imaging coordination.