A potential drug that penetrates the brain and is being developed as a cancer treatment can accelerate the repair of damaged nerves following spinal trauma.
AZD1390, can restore sensory and motor function after spinal injury by blocking the response to DNA damage in nerve cells and promoting the regeneration of damaged nerves when taken orally.
The announcement comes after the same research team demonstrated how inhibiting the inflammatory response with a different investigational medicine (AZD1236) can reduce damage following spinal cord injury.
Both investigations were funded by AstraZeneca’s Open Innovations Programme.
In their early research, they discovered that AZD1390 blocked the ATM protein kinase pathway, a vital biochemical system controlling the response to DNA damage, and increased nerve cell proliferation in culture.
This is an exciting time in spinal cord injury research with several different investigational drugs being identified as potential therapies for spinal cord injury
According to the study authors, within 4 weeks of damage, animals treated with AZD 1390 were no longer different from uninjured animals in terms of their sensory and motor abilities.
Dr. Tuxworth, “repurposing this existing investigational drug potentially means we can reach the clinic significantly faster than developing a new drug from scratch.”