US biotech company to try resurrect the clinically dead
A US biotech firm has announced plans for a Phase I trial that will see them attempt to bring brain-dead patients back to life, in a manner of speaking.
Bioquark Inc will try to successfully reanimate parts of the upper spinal cord, where the lower brain stem is located, in efforts to kickstart vital body functions such as breathing and heartbeats.
Researchers at Bioquark were granted permission from an Institutional Review Board at the National Institutes of Health in the US and India to begin the Phase I trial, and the company says that recruitment for the ReAnima Project is set to begin immediately.
CEO Ira Pastor told the Telegraph: “This represents the first trial of its kind and another step towards the eventual reversal of death in our lifetime… We hope to see results within the first two to three months.”
The trial is characterised as a “proof of concept” study with multi-modality approach, using intra-thecal bioactive peptides, stem cells, laser and transcranial IV laser and Median Nerve stimulation as adjuvants. The patients to be recruited will be cases of brain death due to traumatic brain injury having diffuse axonal injury.
The ideal scenario, barring actual reanimation of the central nervous system, will be to investigate if they can affect any changes in the meninges of the brain. These are the layers of tissue that sit between the skull and the brain surface. The team will be looking for any improvements in the patients’ pulse, blood oxygen saturation, blood pressure and respiration.
Once permission is given from the families, the researchers will use these therapies on 20 clinically dead patients over a six-week period in Anupam Hospital in Rudrapur, India. Follow ups will occur periodically over the following months to check patients’ progress.
To kickstart the cell regeneration process is clinically dead patients, or patients requiring the use of life support machines as they cannot breathe or circulate blood on their own, and their brains have also ceased to function.
A long shot to be sure, but the team at Bioquark remain realistic. Pastor comments: “It is a long-term vision of ours that a full recovery in such patients is a possibility, although that is not the focus of this first study – but it is a bridge to that eventuality.”
Founder and President Sergei Paylian adds: “Through our study, we will gain unique insights into the state of human brain death, which will have important connections to future therapeutic development for other severe disorders of consciousness, such as coma, and the vegetative and minimally conscious states, as well as a range of degenerative CNS conditions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.”
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