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New Drug Giving Hope to Spinal Cord Patients

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  • New Drug Giving Hope to Spinal Cord Patients

    Protein Shows Promise for Spinal Cord Injury Patients Regaining Partial Movement

    A study of a protein applied to the spinal cord for totally paralyzed patients during surgery shows some promise for spinal cord injury patients with some regaining partial movement.

    A one-year clinical study of Cethrin(R), performed by neurosurgeons at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and other medical centers in the United States and Canada, indicated positive interim results for the treatment of acute spinal cord injury (SCI). The study was designed to determine if the protein was safe and well tolerated by SCI patients.

    In the trial, 31 percent of patients recovered some sensory and/or motor function below the level of their injury, going from a complete injury to an incomplete injury. In one case, a patient who participated in the study at Jefferson was able to regain movement in his previously paralyzed legs.


    New Drug Giving Hope to Spinal Cord Patients

    Published Yesterday | Treatments , December 2006 | Unrated

    by KYW’s John Ostapkovich

    A new medication being tested at Philadelphia's Thomas Jefferson University Hospital gives hope to patients with severe spinal cord injuries.

    The drug Cethrin has been in safety trials, says Jefferson neurosurgeon James Harrop. Cethrin is a protein applied to a sheath covering the spinal cord. From there, it interrupts a peculiar reaction that follows a spinal injury, programmed cell death in which neurons give up the ghost. It also aids surviving nerve cells in reconnecting.

    Last edited by manouli; 12-17-2006, 02:47 PM.

  • #2
    This is good news. Thanks Manouli.


    • #3
      Thanks for this post Manouli!

      Cethrin® consists of BA-210 (the active ingredient) mixed with an approved fibrin sealant that is to be deposited directly at the site of injury during surgery to repair spinal cord injuries. The fibrin sealant component, Tisseel®, is applied directly over the dura of the spinal cord. The mixture rapidly solidifies into a semi-rigid, gel-like clot, serving to optimize the localization of the drug to the proximity of the wound. Moreover, the gradual dissolution of the clot over the ensuing few weeks acts as a form of sustained release, allowing BA-210 to continue infiltrating the region of the injury during this period. BioAxone’s animal research has clearly shown that Cethrin® elicits the repair of damaged CNS neurons. Some of the beneficial actions of Cethrin® application following acute spinal cord injury are as follows:
      • Inhibition and even reversal of abnormal Rho GTPase activation after just a single dose.
      • Significant reduction of cell death (apoptosis) at the site of injury.
      • Promotion of axonal regeneration.
      • Functional recovery in animals after spinal cord injury, as measured by hind-limb movements using the BBB locomotor rating scale.

      Cethrin® is currently being evaluated in patients with spinal cord injury in a phase I/IIa multi-center, open-label, dose-escalating clinical trial designed to investigate its safety and potential efficacy.
      Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

      The spinal cord contains communication fibers called axons that transfer sensory and motor information between the brain and the periphery. Traumatic damage to these axons results in losses or deficits in motor, sensory, and autonomic function. Worldwide, the annual incidence of SCI is between 15 and 40 cases per million people. Although much research has been done over the past 30 years, the transfer of novel therapeutic approaches from the laboratory to the clinic has been slow. Currently there is only one accepted therapy, methylprednisolone, that has demonstrated a modest ability to improve neurological outcome following SCI.

      BioAxone’s founding scientist, Dr. Lisa McKerracher, has demonstrated that Rho GTPase signaling plays a central role in SCI. Following acute injury, growth inhibitory proteins prevent axons from regenerating. In addition, the activity of the Rho/Rho kinase pathway is enhanced, contributing to increased apotosis (cell death) in neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, exacerbating functional losses. Based on these findings, inhibition of Rho signaling is expected to contribute to the functional recovery of locomotion and sensation after spinal cord injury.

      BioAxone has developed Cethrin®, which improves cell survival and stimulates regeneration of damaged axons. Cethrin® consists of a recombinant protein Rho GTPase antagonist, along with a fibrin sealant to aid in delivery (applied during spinal stabilization surgery). BioAxone’s proprietary therapeutic strategy for SCI not only protects nerve cells against degeneration but also promotes neuro-regeneration. In preclinical studies, inactivation of Rho by BA-210 promoted neurite re-growth, reduced injury related apotosis, and improved locomotor functional recovery. Cethrin® (BA-210) is well tolerated based on a comprehensive program of animal toxicology studies. BioAxone is currently recruiting patients with spinal cord injury for a phase I/IIa clinical trial designed to investigate the safety and potential efficacy of Cethrin®.
      Last edited by cljanney; 12-17-2006, 04:50 PM.


      • #4
        for acute or chronic? complete or incomplete?
        A CURE NOW!


        • #5
          sounds like acutes...


          • #6
            Posting some ASIA scores will shed some skepticism.
            No one ever became unsuccessful by helping others out