By: 13 June 2024
Spinal Research and Reeve Foundation announce joint international research call

Spinal Research and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation have further strengthened their joint mission to beat paralysis with a new international research call.

The two organisations, based in the UK and US, are both committed to funding innovative research to get life-changing, function restoring treatments to people living with spinal cord injury and ultimately to delivering a cure for paralysis.

In 2021 they co-funded a £1m joint scientific call which is supporting four translational research projects spanning genetically engineered stem cells, novel drugs and biomaterials and acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) – a non-invasive therapy that has shown the potential to improve breathing and movement after a spinal cord injury.

The latest call encourages international researchers and industry partners to collaborate to test the potential of new drugs, biologics, devices and gene therapy approaches. The selected projects will be funded for one or two years, with a maximum grant of just over £200,000.

Harvey Sihota, Chief Vision Officer at Spinal Research, said: “Accelerating the delivery of meaningful therapeutics is at the heart of our strategic alliance with the Reeve Foundation.

“The latest scientific call is another joint step on the journey towards the repair and restoration of the spinal cord.

“In this call we’re encouraging industry to become a partner in concept-proving science, providing greater understanding of a proposed new therapeutic or device so we can speed up the next stages of development.

“The message to the field is come and do this stuff. It’s really exciting and important.”

Every two hours someone in the UK is paralysed after a spinal cord injury. It can happen to anyone at any time.

Spinal Research is the UK’s leading medical research charity funding the discovery and development of effective treatments for chronic spinal cord injury. During the last 40 years, it has funded over 140 international research projects which have achieved a number of important advances in the field of spinal cord injury.

The Reeve Foundation is the premier US non-profit organization dedicated to advancing innovative research and improving quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis.

“The Reeve Foundation is excited to continue our partnership with Spinal Research on this new call, which supports a critical gap in SCI drug and device development,” said Chief Scientific Officer Marco Baptista.

“By supporting early-stage research to improve understanding of key biological mechanisms – which academic and smaller biotech labs often lack the resources to do independently – we aim to increase the number of potential therapeutics that may one day reach the clinic.”


Photo: Harvey Sihota, Chief Vision Officer at the charity Spinal Research