Stakeholder Highlight: Industry — Working 2 Walk 2020

By Matthew Rodreick — Executive Director, U2FP

How things get made. There’s a whole slew of books, podcasts, YouTube channels and — if your social media feeds are anything like mine — lots and lots of short videos showing how all sorts of things are created from Twinkies to robots.

Well, the next session highlight is a little bit like this, albeit more complicated: Industry

Session 3 of the Working 2 Walk Symposium will feature three presentations from Industry representatives about what it takes to get curative therapies to market.

We have asked these presenters to discuss the science supporting their product development as well as the complexities of turning that science into a commercial product.

Inherent to these difficult hurdles across the ‘valleys of death’ (common parlance for getting a discovery to work in humans, crossing over the regulatory hurdles and keeping the company solvent throughout) are the questions around the stakeholders required for success: Who are they? Where do they fit?….and where do YOU fit?

We will hear presentations from:

Dr. Joanna Stanicka, CEO and Founder at Axonis Therapeutics
Dr. Stanicka will talk about the preclinical work exploring a protein called KCC2. KCC2 regulates neurotransmitters associated with the excitation and inhibition of neurons specific to the central nervous system. This means it has a ‘go’ / ‘stop’ function for both sensory and motor signals. She will talk about the results of their preclinical work in rodents and the development of a novel oral treatment to address neuropathic pain, spasticity and voluntary movement after SCI.

Dr. George Maynard, President and Chief Science Officer at ReNetX Bio
Dr. Maynard’s presentation will focus on the discovery work of Dr. Stephen Strittmatter (Yale University) who found an opportunity to block receptors on neurons that are responsible for inhibiting regeneration after SCI. ReNetX has developed a protein AXER204 that blocks those receptors and creates a more permissive environment for regeneration. Dr. Maynard will explain the preclinical studies in both rodents and non human primates leading to a preliminary summary from their Phase 1 human clinical trial in chronic cervical injury (and the reasons why they have elected to conduct a trial in the chronic population).

Dr. Candy Tefertiller, Executive Director of Research and Evaluation at Craig Hospital
Dr. Tefertiller will discuss the UpLift clinical trial using non-invasive spinal stimulation. She will discuss some of the preceding research albeit completed in small pilot studies that will be expanded through this large scale multi center study. Using a combination of targeted outcomes and clinically relevant measures they hope to validate the effect of this strategy on upper extremity functions in chronic SCI. The data from this study will be applied to the regulatory process in pursuit of widespread clinical use. Dave Marver (CEO of GTX Medical) will join the panel to address some of the challenges inherent to bringing a novel device to market.

We hope each of these presentations and the discussion to follow will illuminate both the scientific work necessary to bring discoveries to treatments as well as the economic hurdles to making those treatments available to all. Once again, we’ll hope to see lots of questions from you.

You can check out all the distinguished speakers and their presentation topics on the Speakers & Agenda page of our website. We’re just one week away from this year’s Working 2 Walk Virtual Symposium — if you haven’t already, register here.

P.S. There are still deep discounts available (75%!) for Individuals with an SCI, their families and caregivers. These discounts wouldn’t be available without the generous support of our sponsors listed below. We’re excited to see how this year’s Virtual Symposium expands access and accelerates the conversation and action toward cures. REGISTER NOW!

Our Sponsors

Be a part of the buzz as an official Working 2 Walk Sponsor.

Building Advocacy, Empowerment, and Unity Toward Finding Cures for Paralysis