July 22, 2003.
Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers,
NewNeural, Inc., an emerging biotech company focusing on adult stem cell therapy products, today announced that its founder and chief scientific officer, Kiminobu Sugaya, PhD, has received a prestigious scientific grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The five-year $1.4 million grant was awarded for his breakthrough work on neural replacement strategies using cells produced from adult human bone marrow.
Sugaya's primary research has been focused on developing unique methods to produce new functioning neural cells, methods that can ultimately be used to treat debilitating diseases and injuries of the central nervous system such as Stroke, Lou Gehrig's Disease, spinal cord injury, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and retinitis pigmentosa. Sugaya has successfully demonstrated in vitro and in multiple animal studies that cells produced from human marrow using his technological breakthrough can differentiate into neurons.
"Dr. Sugaya's work in this field is very exciting in that it lends itself to development of robust processes and technology to efficiently produce large numbers of functional human neurons from bone marrow cells," said Robert Gonzalez, President and CEO of NewNeural. "The grant provides further scientific validation of Sugaya's earlier work demonstrating that transplantation of ex vivo manipulated cells results in formation of neurons in vivo and parallels his work with neural stem cells, resulting in effectively improving memory of aged animals."
Sugaya's research serves as the foundation for NewNeural's technology portfolio. NewNeural's initial focus is to generate preliminary safety and efficacy data in rat and primate models of disease and injury. Additional product characterization and manufacturing information will be combined with this pre-clinical animal data to support an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for New Neural's cell therapy for neurological conditions, ACT-N(TM).
As the recipient of the NIH Grant, Sugaya receives a five-year grant totaling $1.4 million, for supplies, technical assistance, trainee support, or any other activity directly related to Sugaya's research.
Sugaya holds appointments as an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Associate Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is collaborating with the ALS Therapy Development Foundation, the Boothroyd Foundation and the McGraw Foundation and serves as a reviewer for Alzheimer's Association and NIH Research Grants, and is an ad-hoc reviewer of multiple peer-reviewed journals in the field of neuroscience.
CONTACT: NewNeural, Inc.
Bob Gonzalez, 630-428-4634
The ChemPetitive Group
Murad Sabzali, 630-400-3042
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