More MS news articles for Aug 2001

Acorda Therapeutics Receives a Grant for Spinal Cord Injury Regeneration from the National Institutes of Health

August 27, 2001  1:45pm
Source: Business Wire

HAWTHORNE, N.Y., Aug 27, 2001 (BW HealthWire) -- Acorda Therapeutics announced today that it has been awarded a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant by the National Institutes of Health.

The $100,000 grant will fund collaborative research between Acorda and Drs. Herbert Geller, Sally Meiners, and David Crockett of the University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The funded research will study the repair of damaged nerves following a spinal cord injury by use of tenascin-C, a member of a family of extracellular matrix glycoproteins.

This work will build on previous research indicating that components of tenascin-C can promote regeneration of central nervous system (CNS) nerve fibers. Damaged nerves in the CNS (spinal cord and brain) do not spontaneously regenerate, whereas those in the peripheral nervous system do. Scientists believe this is because of the presence of inhibitory factors in the central nervous system, which prohibit neuronal growth. Previous studies indicate that fragments of tenascin-C supply permissive guidance cues that may allow nerve processes (axons) to grow across the site of damage.

"Spinal cord injury, and other injuries to the CNS, are devastating conditions for which there are no effective treatments. This SBIR grant will enable Acorda and the UMDNJ team to further explore the potential therapeutic uses of tenascin-C fragments in such conditions. A therapy that produces even small improvements in a person's neurological condition can result in enormous improvement in quality of life," said Andrew Blight, Ph.D., Acorda's Executive Vice President of Research and Development, and principal investigator on the SBIR grant.

Acorda Therapeutics, a privately held biotechnology company, is developing therapies for spinal cord injury (SCI) and related neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS). The Company's lead product, Fampridine-SR, is in late Phase 2 clinical trials for restoring neurological function in chronic SCI and in MS. Acorda's technology platform also includes a class of human monoclonal antibodies that have been shown to remyelinate the central nervous system in animal models. These antibodies are in preclinical development for multiple sclerosis. Additionally, Acorda is developing protein- and stem cell-based technologies for regeneration and repair of the spinal cord and brain.

CONTACT:    Acorda Therapeutics
                  Tierney Saccavino, 914/347-4300, ext. 104
                  Fax: 914/347-4560

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