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UGA research helps create new groundbreaking treatment for stroke patients

UGA Libraries

A new stroke treatment based on University of Georgia research will enter clinical trials during the first half of the year. The drug can treat neurodegenerative disorders like ALS, and it is the first neural stem cell therapy to target the nervous system.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared Aruna Bio’s new drug, AB126, to enter a Phase 1b/2a clinical trial.

“Our drug acts differently than current treatments in that it’s not removing the clot; it’s reducing the inflammation in the brain caused by the stroke,” said Steven Stice, director of UGA’s Regenerative Bioscience Center and co-founder of Aruna Bio, the company behind the new treatment.

The first stage of the trial will test the safety and efficacy of the drug in ischemic stroke patients. Ischemic strokes occur when a blood clot blocks or reduces blood flow to the brain, causing the brain not to receive enough oxygen.

The first phase will require participants to undergo surgery to remove the clot that caused their stroke, and then receive three infusions of the treatment via IV. If the drug clears this phase, it will be used as primary treatment for patients who cannot access or do not qualify for other treatments.

The main difference between this drug and others on the market is the ability for patients to receive it multiple times without irritating the immune system. Researchers are exploring the possibility of administering the drug through a nasal spray to help patients with inflammation-based diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

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