Spinal Research holds reception on promising therapy chondroitinase

Spinal Research last night held a Research Reception on the future of chronic spinal cord injury repair, with a focus  on the bacterial enzyme chondroitinase.

Significant successes in our research mean that we have identified chondroitinase as a treatment, proven in the laboratory, with the potential to prevent or reverse paralysis following a spinal injury. This enzyme has been shown to digest the scar tissue that impedes nerve regeneration and stifles changes needed for effective rehabilitation.

The evening, held at King’s College London, was attended by over 100 supporters of the charity and included a presentation by Dr Mark Bacon, our Director of Research, and Dr Elizabeth Bradbury, a leading expert in central nervous system regeneration in the spinal cord. Attendees also heard from paralysed supporter Dan Eley on his experience of living with spinal cord injury.

Dr Bradbury’s work has shown that treatment with chondroitinase reduces scarring, promoting axon regeneration and partial recovery following spinal cord injury in an animal model. Our next step is to modify this enzyme into a form that is safe for use in humans. This will be a significant step forward and will open the way to clinical trials using this treatment.

Six laboratory tours also took place throughout the evening and guests were able to talk to Spinal Research-funded researchers and PhD students about the projects they are undertaking.

Thank you to Universa Law, specialists in handling serious head and spinal injury cases, for sponsoring last night’s event.

A programme for the evening can be downloaded here.