X-Message-Number: 13659
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 16:50:06 -0400
From: Jan Coetzee <>
Subject: Experiment Shows Regrowth of Spinal Cord Fibers

Experiment Shows Regrowth of Spinal Cord Fibers

 BOSTON (Reuters) - A nerve growth factor, Inosine, stimulated regrowth
of severed spinal
 cord motor nerve fibers in an experiment on laboratory rats, Boston
Life Sciences Inc.
 (NasdaqSC:BLSI - news) said on Friday.

 The company said the regrowth was being accomplished experimentally for
the first time and
 could bring Inosine, which occurs naturally in the body, closer to
human trials.

 In the experiment, Inosine was administered to rats with severed spinal
cords. In four of the five
 treated rats, new fibers were seen coursing through the injury to
reestablish connections, the
 company said.

 Dr. Marc Lanser, the chief scientific officer of the company, said in a
statement that he hoped to
 submit the results for publication shortly. ``This represents a giant
step forward in our spinal
 cord program since these results indicated that motor function can
potentially be reestablished
 under the control of the same area of the brain that gave rise to the
injured spinal cord fibers,''
 he said.

                    In an experiment published in the Proceedings of the
National Academy
                    of Sciences late last year, an experiment showed
cross-over sprouting
                    of motor axons, a part of a nerve cell, in injured
spinal cords, the
                    company said.

                    Boston Life planned to duplicate the results of the
experiment in
                    primates before starting human clinical trials.

 Boston Life Sciences has been developing Inosine and another nerve
growth factor, AF-1, for
 regenerative treatment of spinal cord injuries and stroke.

 In February, the company's collaborating scientists isolated the
molecule that responded to
 AF-1 and Inosine. The target was an enzyme within the central nervous
system's neurons that
 controlled nerve growth in the brain, or in the spinal cord.

 Inosine is a molecule formed by the breakdown of adenosine, a building
block of genetic
 material and an important signaling molecule.

 Boston Life Sciences shares were up 1 1/8 to 7 5/8 at midday on the
Nasdaq stock market. The
 stock is down from the high of 16 1/8 reached on March 2, before
biotechnology shares

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