In this two part interview with Dr. Hilary Hu at Iowa State University Veterinary Hospital, learn about spinal cord injuries in dogs and a promising new treatment Dr. Hu and Dr. Nicolas Jeffery are studying for pets with various types of spinal cord injuries. If this trial is successful, humans with spinal injury may benefit, too.
For realization of this research to eliminate paralysis in people, much will depend upon the work and perseverance of the paralyzed patients and their families in helping the U.K. charity called Spinal Research in bringing chondroitinase (Chase) to the clinic. Thankfully the Spinal Research charity (which receives no government funding) has put patients before profits and is sponsoring a large animal trial to show efficacy which is nearing completion. The trial may ultimately bring us one step closer to eliminating the decades old bottleneck for utilizing the “scar busting” enzyme. They call the project Chase It. Unfortunately, for decades the Acorda company acquired a plethora of chondroitinase patents and then abandoned it’s research and development many years ago to pursue mass distribution of an MS drug called Ampyra rather than investing in the chondroitinase enzyme for clinical use in patients with SCI, stroke and heart arrhythmia.
The Chondroitinase Dog Trial at Ames Iowa