New Therapy to Treat Spinal Cord Injury

Li Cai (Inventor), Misaal Patel (Inventor), Lisa Lyu (Inventor)

Research output: Innovation


Treated SCI mice showed significant functional recovery Invention Summary: Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in permanent disruption to nervous system function. There is no effective treatment to promote recovery of motor function after spinal cord injury currently available on the market. Previous research for SCI treatment was focused on targeting either cell source (new neurons) for damage repair or glial scar (inhibition of astrogliosis) for axon regrowth. Although these efforts have laid important ground work in the field, translation to clinical practice has been limited due to the lack of significant functional recovery. This invention disclosed a novel method to treat spinal cord injury via gene therapy. Rutgers scientists first discovered the important roles of a transcription factor Caix1 in neurogenesis and functional recovery after spinal cord injury. They found that Caix1 has the dual ability to promote neurogenesis and inhibit astrogliosis and improve functional recovery after spinal cord injury. They demonstrated that injection of lentivirus-encoded Caix1 to the injury site after a spinal cord injury can increase the number of neural stem/neural progenitor cells and can improve the locomotor function of SCI mice as compared to mice receiving control lentivirus or lentivirus encoding a different transcription factor Nkx6.1 as a control. The figure above shows that the treated SCI mice had significant functional recovery. Advantages: Animal data showing that this therapy is effective This method overcame multiple obstacles (e.g., immunorejection, long-term survival, and functional integration) of stem cell transplantation approach Market Applications: New approach to treat traumatic spinal cord injury New approach to treat brain injury Intellectual Property & Development Status: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaboration.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Nov 2019


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