HOUSTON, May 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Defense has given a $2 million grant to support research into treatment for spinal cord injuries.
The two-year, peer-reviewed grant was given to The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and Capstone National Partners. The funding will support the Reeve Foundation's North American Clinical Trials Network, a consortium of university hospital neurosurgical and neuro-rehabilitation teams.
The NACTN gathers and documents patient medical information in a data registry to better understand the body's natural course of recovery after injury; uses standardized patient assessment protocols and develops new ones; and conducts new trials of therapy for spinal cord injury.
"Our goal is to bring effective treatments from the lab to the servicemen and women on our frontlines," said Dr. Robert G. Grossman, a professor of neurosurgery at The Methodist Hospital Neurological Institute who leads NACTN's investigators.
"With the support of (the Defense Department) and the Reeve Foundation, our network has a unique opportunity to move safe and potentially viable treatments from the research laboratory into the clinic. This is critically important because presently there are few treatment options for these patients other than standard medical care."
The Reeve Foundation said the grant will support a Phase 2/3 efficacy trial of Riluzole, a neuro-protective drug that is the only FDA-approved drug used in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.