Treating paralysed dogs using chondroitinase
During the last decade, the bacterial enzyme chondroitinase has emerged as a promising intervention to treat spinal cord injury; numerous studies have demonstrated its effect in reducing scarring, preserving nerve function in the injury zone and improving recovery of normal movements. However, the experimental therapy needs further pre-clinical data gathered in models with greater clinical relevance.
We are currently funding research at Iowa State University in America to test the treatment in pet dogs who have sustained severe and chronic accidental spinal cord injury. If the project demonstrates efficacy then it would provide a ‘green light’ for human clinical trials, thus accelerating the translation of the intervention from laboratory to clinic.
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