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NZ trial for Parkinson's treatment

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/10/2016

A world-first disease limiting treatment for Parkinson's Disease could be on the way if a medical trial underway at Auckland City Hospital is successful.

Six patients are involved in the first trial by Living Cell Technologies, a New Zealand-based company that thinks its treatment could also help those living with Huntington's, Alzheimer's and motor neurone diseases.

The NTCELL treatment uses naturally occurring cells to promote new central nervous system growth and repair disease-induced nerve degeneration.

It implants microcapsules into each side of the patient's brain.

The first trial began in March with four patients receiving the implant and two a placebo, but experts have to wait 26 weeks to test the results.

It's hoped a second phase will be completed by the end of this year, and a third by early 2017, with patients to receive different amounts of NTCELL to determine the most effective measure.

All 18 patients involved are aged under 65.

"If the trial is successful, the company will apply in late 2017 for provisional consent to treat paying patients in New Zealand and launch NTCELL as the first disease modifying treatment for Parkinson's disease," the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

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