An innovative new multicenter stroke research program will be managed by Cedars-Sinai. Called the “Stroke Preclinical Assessment Network” or SPAN, the NIH-funded program will assess the effectiveness of six potential therapies for stroke. Part of the mandate also includes investigation into the application of more rigorous, methodical standards in preclinical research will result in greater success in human clinical trials. The new center will be led by Patrick Lyden, MD.
Cedars-Sinai is on a mission to identify new effective and efficient stroke treatments. Preclinical research (on mice and rats) evidence a new wave of potential stroke therapy innovation—with a focus on protecting the brain and improving recovery from standard stroke treatments for blood clots—a key goal of the Cedars-Sinai group will be to determine if this new preclinical research will be effective with humans.
NIH’s ‘Rigor and Reproducibility” Standards
The NIH becomes increasingly concerned with the trend where preclinical research shows promise yet the beneficial results fail to carry over to human research—the whole idea in the first place. Francesca Bosetti, PhD, Pharm D, program director of the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke says that SPAN will take the NIH guidelines a step further—Cedars-Sinai has signed up for an incredibly important program here. Bosetti continued that “The network will use clinical-trial practices and standards to search for the neuroprotective stroke therapies that have the greatest potential for working in humans.” It is hoped that the standards-driven techniques may improve the results transitioning from preclinical to clinical stroke therapies.
Other Participating SPAN Centers
The following other research centers will participate in the SPAN program including University of Texas Health Center, Houston; Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Augusta University, Georgia; Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore; University of Iowa, Iowa City; and Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven.
Each one of these participating centers will submit a plan for a proposed treatment for stroke. Other members will test the potential treatments. Effectiveness is measured by how well the therapy does in protecting the brain during clot removal after an ischemic stroke. Some of the treatments have been approved by the FDA.
Nancy L Sicotte, MD, chair of the Cedars-Sinai Department of Neurology
Call to Action: Interested in the advancements in stroke treatments? Follow the new NIH-funded SPAN initiative led by Cedars-Sinai.