The research, published in British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, found that the KCL-286 drug – which works by activating retinoic acid receptor beta (RARb) in the spine to promote recovery – was well tolerated by participants in a Phase 1 clinical trial, with no severe side effects. Researchers are now seeking funding for a Phase 2a trial studying the safety and tolerability of the drug in those with SCI.
Global prevalence of SCI is estimated to be between 0.7 and 1.2 million cases per year, with falls and road accidents being the major causes. Despite incurring a cost of $4 billion per year in direct healthcare and indirect costs (i.e. inability to work and social care) in the US alone, there are no licensed drugs that can tackle the intrinsic failure of the adult central nervous system to regenerate, and thus remains a largely unmet clinical need.