Vincent Delattre, Co-Founder, G-Therapeutics, Switzerland
G-Therapeutics is developing an implantable stimulation system and a robot-assisted training program to rehabilitate individuals with spinal cord injury. By enabling nervous system rewiring, the therapy is expected to help paralysed people walk again. The approach has been successfully tested on fully paralysed animals and is progressing to human testing.
Over the past decade, Dr. Courtine’s team developed a pragmatic therapy that restored supraspinal control over refined leg movements after severe spinal cord injury in rodents. The therapy acts over two time windows. Immediately, electrical and chemical neuromodulation of spinal circuits mediate motor control of the paralysed legs. In the long term, will-powered training regimens enabled by electrochemical neuromodulation and robotic assistance promote neuroplasticity of residual connections—an extensive rewiring that reestablishes voluntary movement.