Dr. Chandler L. Walker and his laboratory at Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, study pre- and post-symptomatic pathology progression in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Another significant area of his research is focused on the production and biochemical analysis of mesenchymal stem-cell secretome as a viable therapy for ALS. Adipose-derived stem cells (ASC) produce and secrete numerous therapeutically important trophic factors and cytokines, and Dr. Walker’s work has shown therapeutic benefits of ASC secretome in an established mouse model of ALS.
Initially, NDR funded Dr. Walker’s team with $120,000 to facilitate the evaluation of adipose-derived stem cell secretions. NDR also provided the team with a state-of-the-art MSD Mesoscale to evaluate secretome growth factors and cytokine expression. With his encouraging results and with NDR’s support, he leads a large collaborative team dedicated to advancing ASC secretome therapy toward FDA approval and a Phase I clinical trial. The approach he developed for optimizing secretome production for neurodegenerative diseases recently received a provisional patent. Under Dr. Walker’s direction and with development funding of $450,000 from NDR, his ASC secretome therapy is advancing toward GMP production, and an investigational new drug (IND) application is being filed with the FDA. He formed a company, Mesocyte Therapeutics®, and plans to bring ASC secretome therapy to clinical trial in 2022, and with it, renewed hope for ALS patients.