top of page

Department of Defense Approves $4.9M for Traumatic Brain Injury Study Using Hope Bio's Stem Cells

A four-year, nearly $5 million clinical trial grant awarded to UTHealth Houston by the Department of Defense’s Office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) will evaluate if intravenously infused Hope Biosciences’ autologous, adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (HB-adMSCs) reduce chronic neuroinflammatory response to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

UTHealth Houston and Hope Bio Celebrating completion of TBI Phase I trial
UTHealth Houston and Hope Bio celebrating completion of treatments in the Phase I trial for Traumatic Brain Injury.

The award is a significant positive step toward developing treatment for a currently incurable condition that affects approximately 1.5 million Americans every year, killing 50,000 annually. The Centers for Disease Control reports an estimated 5.3 million people live with permanent TBI-related disability in the U.S. More than 460,000 military service members have been diagnosed with TBI since 2000.

Donna Chang, CEO of Hope Biosciences, highlighted the significance of their technology, stating, “Our repeatable stem cell therapy offers scalability, affordability and rapid delivery over one’s lifetime. Complex conditions like TBI will require sustained and repeated treatment which Hope Biosciences can deliver, potentially benefiting both military and civilian populations.”

Custom water bottle that says UTHealth & Hope Bio WE MADE HISTORY IN TBI

Preliminary results from a prior Phase I/IIa, 24-patient study sponsored by Hope Biosciences at UTHealth (NCT04063215) were presented in May during the Cellular Therapies and Transfusion Medicine in Trauma and Critical Care (CTTACC) 2023 Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Repeated intravenous administration of HB-adMSCs demonstrated the potential of reducing chronic neuroinflammation.

“The funding for the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program Phase 2 trial is a strong step forward in the treatment of the chronic after-effects of traumatic brain injury,” says Charles S. Cox Jr., MD, the George and Cynthia Mitchell Distinguished Chair in Neurosciences and the Glassell Family Distinguished Chair in the Department of Pediatric Surgery with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, “and it is based upon solid results from the Phase 1 study in terms of safety and treatment signal.”

Donna Chang, CEO of Hope Biosciences and Dr. Charles Cox, Principal Investigator UTHealth Houston
Donna Chang and Dr. Charles Cox

This award constitutes the Department of Defense’s first support of UTHealth Houston’s and Hope Biosciences’ collaboration. “Receipt of federal funding for research using Hope Biosciences’ stem cells is a deeply personal occasion,” reflects Jan Shultis, a Naval Academy graduate who joined the team at Hope Biosciences after thirteen years in uniform. “TBI is part of my story, and that of scores of family members and friends who served. We’ve been waiting for a solution. Vital though research is, men and women with boots on the ground need access now to deployable technology that supports current and future needs. Hope’s scalable infrastructure, an unprecedented position in the cell therapy landscape, carries promise of real-world application not only for those serving today, but also for veterans living with injury.”

The anticipated multi-center Phase II study is set to begin enrollment in September, pending approval by UTHealth Houston’s Institutional Review Board.

Headquartered in Sugar Land, Texas and now in its seventh year of operation, to date MSCs cultured at Hope Biosciences have been used in more than 35 FDA-authorized clinical studies covering a wide range of conditions including chronic injury, degenerative diseases and autoimmune diseases.


About Hope Biosciences

Hope Biosciences is a biopharmaceutical company developing adult stem cell therapeutics for a variety of clinical indications, and the only clinical grade adult stem cell banking facility in the nation serving both adults and newborns. Hope Biosciences occupies a unique position in the regenerative medicine space, noteworthy both for patented cell culture methods and effectiveness getting cells to patients through robust collaboration with academic and clinical research organizations. Hope Bio’s proprietary cell culturing process makes Hope Biosciences the gold standard in producing high volume, consistent, repeatable mesenchymal stem cells for clinical purposes, and Hope Biosciences actively partners with organizations and teams in need of cellular products for in vitro, preclinical, and clinical projects.

Learn more about Hope Biosciences at

730 views0 comments


bottom of page