InVivo Therapeutics, Geisinger Health System to conduct preclinical study of injectable scaffold for peripheral nerve injury


InVivo Therapeutics and Geisinger Health System announced a research collaboration to conduct a preclinical study using InVivo’s injectable biocompatible hydrogel for the treatment of chronic pain caused by peripheral nerve compression. InVivo expects to submit data from the study to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012 representing the company’s first technology to treat degenerative neurologic conditions outside of the spinal cord.

“Chronic peripheral nerve compression can have a devastating impact on an individual’s quality of life and even impair one’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis,” said Jonathan Slotkin, director of spinal surgery and spinal cord injury research at Geisinger Health System’s Neurosciences Institute, Danville, USA. “InVivo’s innovative technology platform has already demonstrated success in the treatment of traumatic spinal cord injury in several study models, and we look forward to examining how this latest technology performs in this new application.”

The endpoint of the study will be the effectiveness of using injectable hydrogels for the controlled release of drugs to alleviate chronic pain resulting from compression-induced peripheral nerve damage. The study will compare the resulting molecular and behavioral impact among rodents receiving the injectable scaffold with drug therapy, the injectable scaffold alone, injectable drug therapy alone and a control group receiving no injection.

“The Geisinger Neurosciences Institute is one of the premiere facilities in the country for the study of innovative diagnostic and treatment approaches to neurologic disorders,” said Ed Wirth, InVivo’s chief science officer. “We believe there is tremendous potential for our technology to treat other neurological conditions beyond spinal cord injury, and we are eager to move forward in bringing these therapies one step closer to broad market availability.”

InVivo is currently awaiting FDA approval to commence the first human clinical study using its proprietary polymer scaffolding device to provide structural support to a damaged spinal cord to help prevent paralysis and improve recovery and prognosis for patients with acute spinal cord injury. The human study is expected to begin in 2012.