Horizon 2020: BioArctic’s Spinal Cord Injury Project in focus at Game Plan Europe 2016

Halfway through the world’s largest research and innovation program, Horizon 2020, around 400 Swedish organizations have been granted over EUR 550 million in project funding to solve societal challenges. BioArctic’s project “SC0806 Regenerative treatment of complete Spinal Cord Injury” was one of 11 selected projects with Swedish coordinators presented at Game Plan Europe 2016 in Stockholm, on October 26. The European policy conference gathered representatives from the European Commission, Swedish government and stakeholders from academia, industry and the public sector.

BioArctic is developing a novel treatment for complete spinal cord injury. The project has been granted funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program to perform a clinical study in patients with a complete spinal cord injury.

“We are grateful for all the attention and support from Horizon2020 and Vinnova that our innovative Spinal Cord Injury project receives. There is a huge medical need for treatments of complete spinal cordy injury since there is currently no effective treatment available. The victims are usually young people and there are enormous challenges to maintain an acceptable quality of life”, says Gunilla Osswald, CEO, BioArctic AB.

A spinal cord injury occurs when trauma or disease damages the spinal cord and results in partial or complete paralysis. The global annual incidence of spinal cord injury has been estimated to 22 per million. Thus, there are approximately 2.5 million survivors living with paralysis who lack effective treatment today.

New cutting-edge technology

The product under development, SC0806, is a biodegradable device combined with a growth factor designed to support the regeneration of nerves in the spinal cord, as well as restoring its function. The drug candidate received Orphan Drug Designation in EU 2010 and the US 2011. Clinical trials are ongoing in Sweden with partners at Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden and the physiotherapeutic rehabilitation clinics; Rehabilitation Station Stockholm, Sweden; Laitila Rehabilitation Clinic, Finland and additional Nordic clinics. The first Lokomat™, a walking training robotic system, has been installed in Sweden at Rehabilitation Station Stockholm. The project has introduced and installed new cutting-edge technology in Sweden, for physiotherapeutic rehabilitation of spinal cord injury patients. Work is ongoing to include sites in additional Nordic countries.