A traumatic cervical spinal cord injury results from trauma (such as a fall or car crash, rather than from a disease), and affects the spinal cord in the upper part of the spine (known as the cervical spine). The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of the back, and damage to these nerves disrupts how the brain and body communicate. This can result in a variety of complications including death, paralysis (loss of the ability to move one or more muscles) and breathing issues. Spinal cord injuries to the cervical spinal cord are the most severe of all spinal cord injuries. The risk of death is highest within the first year of injury.
Cethrin is being developed to treat traumatic cervical spinal cord injuries in adolescents and adults. The current treatment option for traumatic spinal cord injuries is methylprednisolone (a steroid) used to reduce inflammation. Surgery is an option in cases when the spinal fluid or tissue presses on the spinal cord. If marketed, Cethrin may help repair damaged nerve cells, allowing the brain and body to better communicate. This could help restore movement in patients with traumatic spinal cord injuries.
BIIB092 is a product that is being investigated for the treatment of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). PSP is a rare condition that is a result of destruction of nerve cells in certain parts of the brain causing problems with balance, movement, vision, speech and swallowing. In patients with PSP, an abnormal form of a protein called tau accumulates in specific areas of the brain by spreading from brain cell to brain cell leading to their damage. Over time, PSP gets progressively worse, with people becoming severely disabled within three to five years of onset. Currently, there is no cure for PSP and no treatment to slow down the disease.