Study Purpose:This study is a randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 2a trial to study the biological activity, safety, and tolerability of regulatory T Lymphocytes (Tregs) taken and expanded outside of the body and returned back to the same person whose Treg were removed, given back by IV (intravenously) and in combination with low-dose IL-2 in people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
Type of Intervention:
Monthly autologous Treg cells infusions + 3 times per week Interleukin-2 injections, Monthly placebo infusions + 3 times per week placebo injections
Study Chair(s)/Principal Investigator(s):
Stanley H. Appel, MD, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Jason R. Thonhoff, MD, PhD, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, James D. Berry, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital
Coordinating Center Contact Information
Houston Methodist Hospital
Houston, Texas, 77030 United States
Full Study Summary:
This study has two parts and due to the pandemic two groups [Group 1 and Group 2]:
1. The first period is a 6-month, randomized, placebo-controlled part of the study to study the biological activity, safety, and tolerability of the monthly expanded Tregs administered intravenously (IV) OR placebo (saline) administered intravenously plus subcutaneous low-dose Interleukin-2 (IL-2) OR subcutaneous placebo (saline) injections in 12 adults with ALS. IL2 helps regulate the immune system's white blood cells. [Group 1 only.]
2. The second period is a 6-month OPEN-LABEL part of the study (no placebo) in which all participants will receive their own expanded Treg cells administered intravenously in combination with subcutaneous low-dose IL-2 at the following schedule: single dose of Treg cells twice (once per month with three IL2 injections per week); followed by double the dose of Treg cells twice (once per month with three IL2 injections per week); followed by triple the dose of Treg cells twice (one per month with three IL2 injection per week); followed by a 1 month follow-up safety visit after the last triple dose of Tregs with was received and the last set of IL2 injections three times per week injections. [Group 1 and Group 2.]
GROUP 1 will go through the double-blind part of the study (receive either Tregs infusions and IL2 injections OR saline infusions and saline injections) for six months and open label part of the study (receive Treg injections and IL2 injections) for six months.
GROUP 2 will receive only the open label (Tregs infusions and IL2 injections) for six months.
This study is studying whether the enhancement of Treg numbers and function will slow disease progression.
In the first study of Tregs, we completed a single-center, open-label phase I study of Tregs from people with ALS. Tregs were increased outside the body and returned back to the individual Treg owners in multiple doses every 2 to 4 weeks. This early study provided evidence in a small group of patients that treatment with autologous Tregs may be effective in slowing ALS progression.
The Methodist Hospital Research Institute
Estimated Study Start Date:
08 / 07 / 2019
Estimated Study Completion Date:
08 / 31 / 2022
Posting Last Modified Date:
10 / 06 / 2021
Date Study Added to neals.org:
08 / 14 / 2019
Can participants use Riluzole?
- ALS meeting El Escorial criteria for possible, probable, lab-supported probable, or definite ALS.
- At least 18 years old.
- Provided informed consent and authorized use of protected health information (PHI) in accordance with national and local patient privacy regulations.
- Capable of complying with all study procedures, including the study drug delivery procedure, in the Investigator's opinion.
- On a stable regimen of riluzole for at least 30 days at the time of screening. If not on riluzole at the time of study entry, willing to refrain from initiation of the agent for the duration of the trial.
- Patients on edaravone willing to refrain from taking edaravone on the same day as they will receive the Tregs infusion for the duration of the trial. If not on edaravone at the time of study entry, willing to refrain from initiation of the agent for the duration of the trial.
- Medical record documentation of a decline in ALSFRS-R total score of at least two points in the 90 days prior to screening or at least four points over the 180 days prior to screening.
- Forced vital capacity (FVC) ≥65% of predicted capacity for age, height, and gender at screening.
- Patient able and willing to undergo leukapheresis.
- Presence of any of the following clinical conditions that would interfere with the safe conduct of the study, as determined by the Investigator:
- Unstable neurological, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, pulmonary, renal, hepatic, endocrine, or hematologic disease; active malignancy or infectious disease; or other medical illness.
- Unstable psychiatric illness defined as psychosis (hallucinations or delusions), unstable major depression or substance abuse within 180 days prior to screening.
- Persistent asthma, prior history of acute systemic reactions involving immunoglobulin E (IgE)-dependent mechanisms, history of angioedema, or history of anaphylactic reactions to any medication.
- Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or aspartate aminotransferase (AST) greater than 3 times the upper limit of normal (ULN) at screening.
- Serum creatinine greater than 1.8 mg/dL or creatinine clearance less than 40 mL/min at screening.
- History of or positive test result for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus, or hepatitis B virus (i.e., positive for both hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis B core antibody) at screening.
- If female, breastfeeding, known to be pregnant, planning to become pregnant during the study, or unwilling to use effective contraception for the duration of the trial and for 90 days after treatment.
- If male of reproductive capacity, unwilling to use effective contraception for the duration of the trial and for 90 days after treatment.
- Enrollment in any other interventional study.
- Treatment with another investigational drug, biological agent, or device within 30 days or 5 half-lives of screening, whichever is longer. Patient participation in an observational/non-interventional clinical study is to be discussed with the Medical Monitor.
- Prior gene or cell therapy treatments for ALS.
Massachusetts General Hospital Neurological Clinical Research Institute
Houston Methodist Hospital