Medicortex Finland Oy is a start-up pharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions. The company is developing a pharmaceutical therapy, which will limit the long-term effects of brain injuries, including the types of severe brain trauma that veterans may have received in combat. The company’s other mission is to identify a biomarker and a diagnostic test to reliably establish the severity and extent of a brain injury. The company has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign accessible on Privatequity.
According to the campaign, “In addition to soldiers in combat, athletes and sports professionals are amongst the population most likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury. Football players aren’t the only brain-injured sports figures in the news today. The sports world surely remembers Michael Schumacher, the German race car driver and Formula One winner, who suffered a near-fatal ski accident and fought a serious brain injury. He was brought out of coma that he was in for several weeks due to TBI he suffered by his injuries. No matter how much attention these stories receive, the real story of sports-related TBI lies in the sheer magnitude of the problem.”
“Numerous studies have found evidence that even one minor concussion can lead to long-term neurodegeneration. The symptoms of TBI which occur as a result of repeated head trauma include sleep disturbance, problems with concentration, nausea, or seizures,” described the campaign. “When left untreated, these symptoms can develop into more severe neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Many football players, boxers and hockey players suffer memory problems, early-onset dementia, or even, in some rare cases, post-traumatic Parkinsonism.”
No reliable diagnostic tool exists for evaluating the extent and severity of brain injury. Medicortex is working towards the identification of a brain injury biomarker and incorporating it into a quick and accurate diagnostic kit that can be easily used by healthcare professionals. The ideal kit will not only diagnose the presence of brain injury, it will also quantify its severity and indicate the treatment needed. In addition, the kit could become a key component of efficacy testing end point in all future clinical trials in TBI.
The campaign posits and answers: “Why, then, is TBI so insidious and so damaging? The answer lies in the cascade of physiological events that follow brain trauma. In the hours, days, and weeks following a TBI, the increased permeability of the neuronal membrane allows for an excessive influx of metal ions and circulating free radicals which cause a series of protein degradation cascades and oxidation, leading to widespread molecular damage and neuronal cell death. In short, the damage expands if not treated after the initial trauma. Unfortunately for TBI sufferers, there are currently no treatments available. Not surprisingly, the medical community is well aware of the importance of early intervention in all forms and degrees of TBI. As Dr. Harel stresses in his vision, none of the currently available therapies really address TBI in the inclusive manner necessary to help reduce or even reverse damage already sustained, and to prevent further damage.”
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