Validation of a new natural class of compounds for therapeutic use in nerve regeneration
Damage to nerves caused by injury or disease, e.g., trauma, chemotherapy, or diabetes, is difficult or often impossible to treat. Due to the slow growth rate of nerve fibers, the healing process is long and often incomplete. Therefore, nerve injuries often lead to permanent disorders, e.g., paralysis or numbness, as well as chronic pain, which considerably reduces the quality of life of the affected patients. Despite intensive research efforts, the treatment of nerve injuries has not changed significantly over the past 30 years. There are no established drugs or procedures to accelerate nerve regeneration.
We demonstrated in a mouse model that a natural compound found in motherwort, parthenolide, can significantly increase the regeneration rate of injured nerve fibers. As a result, the functional recovery of motor function and sensitivity after injury, e.g., of the sciatic nerve, could be significantly accelerated and qualitatively improved. PARREGERON aims to experimentally investigate this novel mechanism of action in a stringent validation program. Given a possible clinical application, the efficacy in other types of injuries, the mode of application, and the treatment regimen will be investigated. Furthermore, a first toxicological test of the substance will be performed.
Following the validation work, cooperation with a pharmaceutical company or a spin-off is planned to develop a drug based on this substance and make it available to affected patients.
For further information, please get in touch with Prof. Dr. Dietmar Fischer.