Brain repair involves a compendium of natural mechanisms that are activated following stroke. From a therapeutic viewpoint, reparative therapies that encourage cerebral plasticity are needed. In the last years, it has been demonstrated that modulatory treatments for brain repair such as trophic factor- and stem cell-based therapies can promote neurogenesis, gliogenesis, oligodendrogenesis, synaptogenesis and angiogenesis, all of which having a beneficial impact on infarct volume, cell death and, finally, and most importantly, on the functional recovery. However, even when promising results have been obtained in a wide range of experimental animal models and conditions these preliminary results have not yet demonstrated their clinical efficacy. Here, we focus on brain repair modulatory treatments for ischaemic stroke, that use trophic factors, drugs with trophic effects and stem cell therapy. Important and still unanswered questions for translational research ranging from experimental animal models to recent and ongoing clinical trials are reviewed here.