Spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injury caused by trauma affects up to 500,000 people each year worldwide. It often results in the disruption of nerve fibers in the spinal cord, causing both paralysis and loss of sensation. Spinal cord injury affects people’s lives in a dramatic and long-term fashion: It often strikes out of the blue and affects many young people in their prime of life. Spinal cord injury renders them wheel chair bound and dependent on foreign aid. Main causes include traffic accidents, falls, sports and work accidents, and violence. The social and economic burden of life-long care including frequent secondary complications (i.e. urinary tract infections, pressure sores, neuropathic pain, spasticity etc.) is enormous.
There are no cures or medical treatments for spinal cord injured patients to date. Neurorehabilitation is the only available therapy so far, and its effects are often very limited.
NovaGo’s primary antibody program targets the neurite growth inhibitor Nogo-A, a key factor limiting the regenerative process of the central nervous system after injury. Preclinical research has demonstrated that blockade of Nogo-A, e.g. by antibodies, is highly effective in enhancing nerve fiber repair and the formation of new fiber connections in the damaged spinal cord, associated with a significantly higher level of recovery of body functions lost by the injury. Clinically, any improvement of nerve fiber regeneration and neural circuit repair is expected to have a strong impact on patients’ outcome. Importantly, even modest improvements could dramatically enhance quality of life for patients.