In 2005, thanks to a generous bequest from the late Lisa Palmer, SpinalCure was able to fund the establishment of the Lisa Palmer Consortium. The consortium, headed by SpinalCure co-founder and Director, Professor Perry Bartlett, comprises scientists from the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) and the University of Melbourne Centre for Neuroscience.
Their work over the last 8 years has enhanced the understanding of the role of the protein EphA4 in spinal cord injury to the level where clinical trials are now imminent.
SpinalCure has recently advanced the final $200,000 of the original bequest to help make those trials a reality. In a paper soon to be published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, the team shows how blocking the action of EphA4 with a ‘decoy’ protein, EphA4-Fc, significantly improves recovery of function in rats with acute spinal cord injuries.
“The idea would be to use the ‘decoy’ treatment immediately after spinal cord injury to try to improve the patient’s recovery.” said Professor Boyd of QIMR. “… If you could improve function even marginally for a quadriplegic, you could make a massive difference to their life.”