Neuralstem, Inc. announced today that it has entered into a collaboration with Professor Guido Nikkah Ph.D, of Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg, Germany, to advance development of Neuralstem's human neural stem cell therapies.
The collaboration with Professor Nikkah will focus on Huntington's disease.
"We are pleased to have established this collaboration in Germany" said Richard Garr, Neuralstem President & CEO. "The goal of our work with Professor Nikkah will be to qualify our existing cGMP spinal cord cells into Professor Nikkah's human trial program to treat Huntington's disease. As we prepare to submit an IND to treat ALS with our stem cells in the U.S., we continue to look for strategic relationships in both Europe and Asia which will allow us to move the cells into humans. We believe that Professor Nikkah's program is the most advanced of its kind in Western Europe, and we are excited about his working with our cells."
Huntington's disease (HD) results from genetically programmed degeneration of brain cells, called neurons, in certain areas of the brain. This degeneration causes uncontrolled movements, loss of intellectual faculties, and emotional disturbance. HD is a familial disease, passed from parent to child through a mutation in the normal gene. Each child of an HD parent has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the HD gene.
Neuralstem's patented technology enables, for the first time, the ability to produce neural stem cells of the human brain and spinal cord in commercial quantities, and the ability to control the differentiation of these cells into mature, physiologically relevant human neurons and glia.
Major Central Nervous System diseases targeted by the Company with research programs currently underway include: Ischemic Spastic Paraplegia, Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury and ALS. The company's cells have extended the life of rats with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) as reported the journal TRANSPLANTATION, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University researchers, and also reversed paralysis in rats with Ischemic Spastic Paraplegia, as reported in NEUROSCIENCE on June 29, 2007, in collaboration with researchers at University of California San Diego. The Company expects to file its first IND (Investigational New Drug) application with the FDA for ALS in the fall.