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Yale Selected to Participate in Stroke Preclinical Assessment Network (SPAN) to Study Ischemic Stroke Treatments

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Yale Selected to Participate in Stroke Preclinical Assessment Network (SPAN) to Study Ischemic Stroke Treatments

Yale Department of Neurology received a $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to assess acute ischemic stroke treatments in rodent models. They are participating with other institutions in the Stroke Preclinical Assessment Network or SPAN. The research teams within SPAN are collaborating to increase the rigor surrounding testing for ischemic brain injury, investigating six neuroprotective therapies in the quest to improve post stroke outcomes.

YaleNews reported that Dr. Lauren H Sansing will lead the team studying the effectiveness of stroke treatments, including the immunomodulatory drug fingolimod.

A brief TrialSite News breakdown of this effort is below.

What is fingolimod?

Sold under the name Gilenya, it is marketed by Novartis and is an immunomodulating drug, mostly used for treating multiple  sclerosis (MS). It has reduced the rate of relapses in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis by approximately one-half over a two-year period. The drug is a sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor modulator, which sequesters lymphocytes in lymph nodes, preventing them from contributing to an autoimmune reaction.

What had happened with previous tests to protect the brain after a stroke?

Earlier tests have failed to produce positive results for therapies to protect the brain after stroke reports YaleMedicine. Recent efforts suggest that in combination with recent advances in clot removal, it is time to expand possible treatments and hence this preclinical initiative within SPAN. SPAN will seek to model multi-site clinical trials by testing the six potential new treatments for stroke in different labs, in the hope that the best treatments emerge from rigorous testing.

What is the primary goal of the SPAN effort?

By identifying the best treatments for patients in clinical trials, the aim is to be able to provide treatments to restore blood flow and to protect the brain in order to help stroke patients.

What are some key stroke metrics in the United States?

It is expected that 795,000 people will experience a stroke this year, reports the Stroke Center. More than 140,000 will die this year alone from a stroke.

What is SPAN?

SPAN is a preclinical network to support translational studies for acute neuroprotection prior to endovascular reperfusion therapy in stroke. Their vision: create a novel translational model that if successful, will accelerate the identification of the most promising neuroprotective therapies for future pivotal clinical trials and span the gap between preclinical and clinical testing, in a cost-and-time effective fashion.

Who is on the Yale team?

Dr. Lauren H. Sansing is the lead and the team includes Drs Jaime Grutzendler, Jiangbing Zhou, Kevin Sheth, Charles Matouk, Charles Dela Cruz and Fahmeed Hyder.

Call to Action: Interested in following this Yale study within the SPAN program? For those interested in improvements in neuroprotective therapies for better post stroke outcomes you can follow SPAN studies. Perhaps there are ways that commercial sponsors can leverage the emergence of SPAN in this field of study?

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