Spinal cord injury is a devastating condition that generally results in sensory and motor paralysis below the level of the injury. More than 12,000 individuals in the United States per year suffer spinal cord injuries from motor vehicle accidents (36.5%), falls (28.5%), violence (14.3%), unknown causes (11.5%), or sports accidents (9.2%). The traumatic impact of a spinal cord injury is particularly sobering in light of the fact that injuries primarily occur in young people: more than 50% of spinal cord injuries occur in individuals between 16 and 30.
Seventy-five percent of spinal cord injuries are in the cervical (neck) region of the spinal cord, where even very small improvements in neurological recovery can reduce upper body paralysis in a manner that significantly improves quality of life. Despite the serious nature of spinal cord injury and potential for therapeutic benefit, there are no drugs on the market to repair neuronal damage and reduce paralysis after spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injury is thus a serious unmet medical need.
BioAxone’s neuroregenerative and neuroprotective biologic drug Cethrin is currently in clinical development for acute cervical spinal cord injury. Phase I/IIa trial results indicate that the drug may improve arm/hand motor function after injury. Plans for a Phase IIb Cethrin trial are currently underway.