Therapy for the prevention of secondary degeneration in lesions of the central nervous system

Traumatic injuries of the central nervous system is a serious health and socio-economic problem for which there is no treatment. The invention is a new solution of pharmacotherapy to be used in the prevention of secondary degeneration after the traumatic event.

Title of the patent Electrospun fibers for a local release of an anti-inflammatory and a promyelinating drug
Thematic area Pharmaceutical
Ownership Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna
Inventors Laura Calzà, Luciana Giardino, Maria Letizia Focarete, Maria Laura Bolognesi, Nadia Passerini, Gazzotti Teresa, Chiara Gualandi, Giampiero Pagliuca, Elisa Zironi
Protection International
Licensing status Available for licensing agreements
Filed on Jun 16, 2018

The traumatic lesions of the central nervous system represent a serious health and socio-economic problem, because they are an important cause of death, in particular among young adults, and of various degrees of disability that remain for life. It is estimated that in Europe 7.7 million people live with disabilities resulting from traumatic brain injury (cognitive, attentional, motor, psychiatric disabilities), while the incidence of traumatic spinal injury, which can result in permanent motor and sensory disability, is estimated at 23 cases per million in the world, and in 16 cases per million in Europe.

The severity of disability is proportional, not only to the primary lesion (derived from the traumatic event), but also to the secondary degeneration that, triggered by the trauma, evolves in the following days, leading to extensive demyelination, neuronal death, and reactive gliosis. It is known that the cellular and molecular events that accompany the extensive inflammation linked to the traumatic event prevent myelin repairing phenomena. The pharmacological control of tissue inflammation and the repair of myelin are therefore primary and essential therapeutic objectives. But the therapeutic solutions developed today to limit secondary degeneration, based on the systemic administration of drugs, are ineffective, as they clash with the difficulty / impossibility of ensuring an adequate concentration of the active drugs in a correct temporal sequence at the site of the lesion, without major systemic side effects. Even cortisone therapy, once referred to as gold-standard in traumatic brain and spinal injury, is in many contexts abandoned due to the low efficacy and severity of side effects.

The invention is a new solution of pharmacotherapy achieved through the introduction of 2 drugs (anti-inflammatory and promyelinating) in a polymeric material, obtained by electrospinning, which allows the local controlled release of the 2 drugs, to be used by surgical implant in the prevention of secondary degeneration in the traumatic event.

Surgery is the main applicatio, with the aim of preventing secondary degeneration that follows the traumatic event and that is a determining factor in the severity of neurological damage and permanent disability.