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Keywords:

  • chronic disease;
  • functional imaging;
  • ischemic stroke;
  • stem cells;
  • stroke;
  • therapy

Stroke, for some years now the neglected major indication in the pharmaceutical development cupboard, has recently become one of the hot areas for stem cell therapy development. This is driven by better understanding of potential therapeutic opportunities both in the acute and chronic phases and the launch of a series of new early phase clinical trials in a number of countries, driven by positive data in relevant animal models. In addition, the impetus for stem cell product development is motivated by patient demand, with thousands of victims seeking unproven treatments abroad. This article looks at the many challenges facing the development of a stem cell therapy for stroke. These range from product characterization and banking, through nonclinical safety and efficacy to the regulatory requirements for starting patient trials and beyond to maximizing value from carefully designed efficacy trials.