For most, the brain's blood-barrier is a blessing; the mechanism keeps viruses away from the brain while letting oxygen and other beneficial nutrients through. But to scientists trying to figure out treatments and cures for neurologic diseases like Parkinson's, that brain barrier is an enigma, locking out therapeutic genes and molecules.
One of many companies searching for drug-delivery solutions to the brain is MedGenesis Therapeutix, whose Convection Enhanced Delivery (CED) method can target specific areas of the brain that are otherwise off-limits through other local drug delivery techniques such as injection or implantation of drug-containing polymers.
MedGenesis is currently working with partner Biovail on delivering GDNF, a naturally occurring growth factor that protects and promotes the survival of dopamine-producing nerve cells, for treatment of Parkinson's disease. MRI results are used as the basis for computer simulations to determine where to stick the catheters.
Erich Mohr, CEO of MedGenesis, was recently profiled as a hometown hero by his local newspaper, the Times Colonist of Victoria and Vancouver Island in Canada. The article gives a decent rundown of CED technology and its potential in treating Parkinson's and other central nervous system disorders.
The Times Colonist reports: "Mohr believes that the drug and the delivery system offers an opportunity to 'modify disease progression and in fact reverse some of the disease processes.'
- read the Times Colonist profile