Henry Ford Health System Signs Agreements to Improve Stroke and Brain Injuries


NeuroTrauma Sciences (NTS), a biopharmaceutical company in Atlanta, and Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, today announced that a newly-formed subsidiary of NTS has entered into multi-year sponsored research and license agreements.

The new company, NeurExo Sciences (NXS), is designed to advance Henry Ford’s pioneering technology involving exosomes as extracellular vesicles enriched with microRNA for the purpose of treating stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussion, and neuropathies.

Under the agreements, NXS will license methods and intellectual property from Henry Ford and fund exosome research projects headed by principal investigator Dr. Michael Chopp, vice chairman of the Department of Neurology and scientific director of the Neurosciences Institute at Henry Ford Hospital. NXS will gain worldwide commercial rights to product candidates resulting from the IP and sponsored research coming out of the lab.

Chopp and his research team have generated proof-of-principle data in a number of small and large animal models showing how exosomes can amplify the body’s own neurological repair mechanisms and potentially improve long-term neurological outcomes following brain injury, such as stroke or TBI, and neurodegenerative diseases.

“Our studies in multiple pre-clinical models indicate that exosomes have the potential to provide significant therapeutic benefits to enhance the recovery from stroke or traumatic brain injury, and potentially with a better safety profile and greater efficacy than their parent or progenitor cells,” says Chopp. “Success of this novel approach may lead to a shift in the treatment paradigm for TBI, stroke and neurological disease.”

Carl Long, co-founder and CEO of NeuroTrauma Sciences and NeurExo Sciences, says he believes exosome technology has the potential to serve as a transformational platform for multiple neurological conditions – including stroke, concussion, and other traumatic brain injuries.

“Henry Ford researchers are pioneers in the exosome field and the NeuroTrauma Sciences team recognized the tremendous potential of our technology and world leading scientists,” says Mark Coticchia, vice president and chief innovation officer at Henry Ford Health System. “We appreciate their support in pursuing the development of this cutting-edge technology with these Agreements, and their commitment to investing in the broader Detroit scientific community with the formation of this new company.”

Exosomes are small extracellular vesicles that transport regulatory genes and proteins between cells, allowing organs, tissues and cells to communicate with one another, causing biological responses. As cargo, exosomes contain microRNAs that regulate gene translation and play primary roles in mediating a vast array of biological functions, including the potential to concurrently enable multiple pathways of neurorestoration.

Henry Ford Health System, a six-hospital system, is one of the nation’s leading comprehensive, integrated health systems, recognized for clinical excellence and innovation. Henry Ford Health System provides both health insurance and health care delivery, including acute, specialty, primary, and preventive care services backed by research and education.

NTS is a private biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel therapies to treat the complications of brain injuries due to stroke, traumatic brain injury and concussion, and other neurological conditions. The company is building a portfolio of innovative product candidates focused on neuroprotection and neurorestoration ranging from early research stage through early clinical development. NTS was founded in 2016.

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