This project evaluated the effect of potassium channel blockade on stepping ability in dogs that were unable to walk. The premise for this study is that following severe spinal cord injury, some anatomically intact but dysfunctional axons remain across the site of the injury. They can’t transmit messages because they have lost their insulating myelin sheath and exposed potassium channels. Blockade of these channels allows them to conduct again.
We worked with Dr. Richard Borgens’ group at the Center for Paralysis Research, Purdue University, to evaluate several new drugs in dogs in Phase 1 trials, and then moved on to perform a placebo-controlled trial comparing the well known drug, 4-aminopyridine, with one of its derivatives, t-butyl and with placebo.
We demonstrated that both drugs did have a statistically significant effect on stepping ability, but the effect was extremely variable, with some dogs able to step independently while others showed no response at all. These findings have led to our ongoing work to understand what makes some dogs respond and others fail. Read about our current clinical trial here.
This work is published in:
- (2009) Pharmacokinetics of 4-aminopyridine derivatives in dogs.Olby NJ, Smith DT, Humphrey J, Spinapolice K, Parke N, Mehta PM, Dise D, Papich M. | J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Oct;32(5):485-91.PMID: 19754916.
A news article on this work can be found at: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/health-care/article10220240.html