7. NOVEL THERAPIES
Can novel therapies, including stem-cell, gene, pharmacological and neuroprotective therapies, improve the health and well-being of people living with DCM and slow down disease progression? 
There is much to learn about ways in which the degenerative processes in Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy (DCM) could be slowed down, halted or even reversed by therapeutic interventions. These interventions range from small-molecule drugs and cellular therapies, to neural pathway stimulation and other neurorehabilitative strategies. We aim to bring together researchers working in the many related disciplines to share insights and advance the field.
Listen to Dr Mark Kotter explaining his ambition and opportunity for novel regenerative medical therapies to be applied in DCM.
How Is Myelopathy.org and RECODE-DCM Working to Address this Priority?
Myelopathy.org is supporting the NIHR RECEDE-Myelopathy trial. Launched in 2022, this is the first regenerative medicine trial for DCM. Chief Investigator Dr Mark Kotter and Co-Chief Investigator Dr Benjamin Davies are working with MediciNova to evaluate whether Ibudilast can improve recovery after surgical decompression. Developing novel therapies for DCM is one of RECODE-DCM’s top priorities, and we hope that this study will bring a ray of hope to those undergoing surgery for DCM.
Ibudilast, a phosphodiesterase 3 / 4 inhibitor, is currently licensed to treat post-stroke dizziness and asthma in Japan. It has shown preliminary effectiveness in other neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis. The drug has been well tolerated in the studies.
RECEDE-Myelopathy is a phase 3, double blind, randomised controlled trial. It is currently supported by the National Institute for Health Research, United Kingdom, with support from MediciNova.
The trial has commenced at Cambridge University Hospitals. For further information, please contact the Cambridge Clinical Trials Unit.
Listen to Podcast Episode: S3E6 – Can a Drug Repair the Spinal Cord? First Regenerative Medicine Trial Opens for Myelopathy
In this episode from 2022, Ben and Iwan Sadler are joined by Mark to talk about the first drug trial testing, whether a medicine called Ibudilast can help repair the spinal cord after surgery. Dr Kazuko Matsuda from MediciNova, the pharmaceutical company behind the drug, explains the mechanism and wider opportunities.
Learn more about Research Priority 7 on the Myelopathy Matters podcast
In 2020, AO Spine took over the Myelopathy Matters podcast to tackle the Top 10 Research Priorities for DCM. Novel therapies for DCM is the topic of Episode 7. What are the limitations and potential advances of current therapies, how can novel experimental treatment paradigms deliver progress, and how could strategies for neurorehabilitation advance the field? Dr Benjamin Davies and Dr Michelle Starkey put the questions to Dr Ricardo Rodrigues-Pinto, Annie Wandycz, Dr Mark Kotter, and Dr Julio Furlan.