In afternoon trading, ReNeuron shares were 1.5% higher at 103.5p.
The pre-clinical model of nerve injury demonstrated comparable nerve regeneration compared to standard of care treatment and a stronger muscle function response.
The model, using ReNeuron's CTX cells as a component of artificial nerve tissue, was developed as part of a grant-funded collaboration with University College London (UCL) and Sartorius Stedim Biotech.
ReNeuron said this is one of a number of early-stage projects that it is exploring through partnerships and grant funding.
ReNeuron's CTX cells are already being tested in clinical trials for the treatment of disability resulting from an ischaemic stroke but this is the first time they have been combined with an engineered support to guide nerve repair, both in vitro and in vivo (i.e. both in and outside of the body).
"Peripheral nerve damage can be severe and extremely debilitating, causing a loss of sensation or movement and the possibility of chronic pain. It is often as a result of trauma from road traffic accidents and frequently affects young people at huge personal cost. Currently, there are no engineered cellular therapies to treat nerve damage and where large gaps exist in damaged nerves, grafts are taken from a healthy part of the body to repair a more important function,” explained Dr James Phillips, the lead study author.
“We're impressed with how well the living artificial nerve tissue performed against the autologous nerve grafts. Although it is only in an animal model, it demonstrates that nerves can be repaired using engineered living constructs and opens up possibilities for future treatment options for repairing severe nerve damage," he noted.
Professor Martin Birchall, the chair of laryngology at the UCL Ear Institute and the consultant head and neck surgeon said many patients undergoing nerve repair for trauma or after cancer surgery are not fully served by conventional repairs which may lead to slow and inaccurate regrowth.
“The development of a targeted, stem-cell based repair product, available to all surgeons, especially in the emergency setting, would represent a massive breakthrough in care," he said.
ReNeuron’s chief scientific officer, Dr John Sinden, was understandably delighted that the study had shown the potential of ReNeuron’s CTX cells in the area of nerve repair.
“The combination of ReNeuron's clinically-validated CTX neural stem cells along with self-aligning collagen technology represents a step forward in developing a readily available cell-based treatment for nerve repair at reasonable cost," he said.
Shares in ReNeuron were up 1.9% at 103.9p in a flat market late in the morning.
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