Cerebral ischemia or stroke is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia (lack of blood flow) caused by blockage (thrombosis, arterial embolism), or a hemorrhage (leakage of blood). As a result, the affected area of the brain is unable to function, leading to inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or an inability to see one side of the visual field. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the Western world and the leading cause of permanent disability. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that stroke costs now exceed $45 billion in US healthcare dollars per year.
At this time, the only therapy demonstrated to improve outcomes from acute ischemic stroke is thrombolysis of the clot responsible for the ischemic event.
After injury, microglia adopts an amoeboid shape, show an up regulated variety of surface molecules and release of cytokines. Excessive production of pro-inflammatory and neurotoxic factors from activated microglia may trigger or exacerbate neuronal death but recent research has established that microglia also have neuronal supporting functions. Based on this knowledge, Neurotec has developed a new therapeutic application for neuroprotection in cerebral ischemia and has an attractive package of preclinical studies in an accepted animal model of the disease (Transient Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion in rat, tMCAO) that demonstrate the effectiveness of the drug developed.
Our treatment administered between 6 and 24 hours after reperfusion significantly reduced the lesion’s severity, as it improved motor neurological outcome and induce a massive preservation of neurons at the ischemic focus accompanied by a significant reduction of the necrotic area and neuronal preservation in the periinfarcted region.
As part of this project, Neurotec has granted a European patent covering the use of radiolabelled drug for diagnostic purposes.