Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation announces $3.1M in spinal cord injury research grants

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The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation on Wednesday said it announced three new spinal cord injury research grants totaling $3.1 million. The grants support clinical trials and research tools aimed at accelerating the therapeutic development of SCI treatments.

The Short Hills-based nonprofit organization is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis.

Two grants have been awarded to NeuroRestore, a research, innovation and treatment center that develops and applies bioengineering strategies involving neurosurgical interventions to restore neurological functions. PsychoGenics, a central nervous system-focused contract research organization that designs and executes preclinical drug discovery and early development programs, received the third grant.

Together, the grants will fund projects designed to help catalyze and energize the field of SCI science by channeling resources for a robust clinical pipeline to rapidly increase the number of potential treatments, as well as drive progress and investment in spinal cord injury research by addressing the barriers that limit ambitious engagement.

The projects include clinical trials focused on bladder dysfunction — a major quality-of-life issue for the SCI community — and a trial to advance novel brain-spine interface technology, which has been shown to enable thought to control movement. Finally, a preclinical study will focus on innovative techniques and technologies to provide standardized lab research resources that do not currently exist.

“These grants represent a fresh approach to spurring the SCI scientific arena forward through our support of high-risk-high-reward endeavors that address unmet needs of individuals living with spinal cord injury,” Marco Baptista, chief scientific officer of the Reeve Foundation, said. “It is our goal to facilitate rapid scientific advancement, and these grants are an important step in ensuring that the most promising science of the day is primed for accelerated success.”