There is a great opportunity available for engineered cells that could repair brain damage after stroke. Results reported in December 2009 described how researchers at University of California Irvine (led by Magda Guerra-Crespo) found a naturally occurring protein that could restore limb function in humans after a stroke. The protein, called transforming growth factor alpha (TGF alpha), provides critical tissue-forming and developmental roles in humans from conception through old age. When this protein was administered directly to the brains of rats who had suffered a stroke, 99% of last movement was restored. When the protein was administered through the nose (in the form of a nasal spray), 70% of lost movement was regained. Untreated rats improved by only 30%. The rats were treated one month after stroke, a period of time equal to one year in humans). The TGF alpha was found to cause restoration of lost limb function by its function of stimulating neuron growth. Scientists believe the new neurons helped restore motor function. Currently no other therapies can achieve such results in stroke victims. Meanwhile, TGF alpha has been studied for two decades in other organ systems.
See MedMarket Diligence Report #S520 on companies in the field of cell therapy targeting stroke (including Pluristem Therapeutics, NeuroGeneration, Athersys and others).
In the larger application of cell therapy and tissue engineering to neurology, which includes stroke, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury and CNS and spinal cord diseases, the leader is Medtronic (see below).
© 2010, MedMarket Diligence, LLC
Report #S520: "Tissue Engineering, Cell Therapy and Transplantation: Products, Technologies & Market Opportunities, Worldwide, 2009-2018."