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Aug 06, 2007
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Brain, heal thyself

The list of neuroprotectants that have failed in stroke trials is formidable. Past attempts have been thwarted by unsatisfactory penetration of the blood-brain barrier, toxicity and short treatment windows. Sygnis Pharma AG thinks a well-known protein, granulocyte colony stimulating factor, could be the charm.

Last week, Sygnis (FSE:LIO, Heidelberg, Germany) reported Phase IIa data for its G-CSF product, showing AX200 was safe and well tolerated in the double-blind German AXIS trial in 44 patients. The study was not powered to show significance on efficacy parameters. LIO said it has "hints" of treatment benefit in certain stroke patients, but would not elaborate. The company will report further details in September.

Ischemic strokes are caused primarily by embolism outside the brain or thrombosis within the brain. At the cellular level, the disruption of blood flow unleashes a cascade of events leading to the death of neurons and cerebral infarction.

Rather than try to combat the individual mechanisms along that cascade, CEO Alfred Bach said the solution could be up-regulating the brain's own protective and restorative mechanisms. Thus, in 2002, the...

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