AMEN! Money makes things to happen fast.

Christopher Reeve Foundation Spinal Cord Injury Research Network Receives DoD Grant

A multi-million dollar grant from the United States Department of Defense (DoD) will allow six hospital centers, including the Methodist Neurological Institute (NI), to expand a spinal cord injury research network created by the Christopher Reeve Foundation (CRF). The North American Clinical Trials Network (NACTN) was organized by the CRF to bring promising therapies for spinal cord injury from the laboratory to clinical trials in an effective manner with maximum safety to patients undergoing treatment for their spinal cord injury.

As many as 400,000 Americans, many of them in the military, live with paralysis caused by spinal cord injury. The CRF’s North American Clinical Trials Network is collaborating with the DoD to optimize the requisite infrastructure to conduct clinical trials on emerging therapies that may one day help those living with paralysis. The $2.5 million grant will enable NACTN’s expansion to include military and additional civilian hospitals and, eventually, Veterans Administration Centers.
“The CRF was forward thinking enough to anticipate that sooner, rather than later, viable potential therapies would begin to emerge from the research pipeline and so it began to build the infrastructure that would be necessary to ensure safe and effective clinical trials,” said Susan Howley, executive vice president and director of research of the CRF.

NACTN is collaborating with a similar European Union clinical consortium to define the “natural history” of spinal cord injury, create an international database of uniformly characterized spinal cord patients, and develop improved, more sensitive outcome measures to assess efficacy of the experimental therapies. In the process, the networks are building the foundation for a global effort that will help speed development of effective treatments for spinal cord injury and deliver them to people who need them.