Development of a new therapeutic procedure for the treatment of acute stroke

18.7.2013

Around a third of the approximately 262,000 people who fall victim to stroke every year in Germany die within one year – a further 40 percent have to reckon on permanent disabilities. In most cases (85 percent), the stroke is caused by the occlusion of a blood vessel in the brain. This results in the affected area of the brain becoming undersupplied with blood and oxygen, causing nerve tissue to die off beyond retrieval. Despite intensive research activities, only inadequate treatment options are currently available. The medical engineering company MD-5 GmbH, founded with the support of Fraunhofer IZI, has set itself the goal of improving this situation using an innovative treatment method.

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The therapy concept developed by MD-5 GmbH is based on a procedure which can specifically influence the blood flow in the brain using magnetic fields. So-called intelligent transcranial magnetic stimulation (iTMS) allows blood flow to be increased in defined regions of the brain, thus limiting damage caused by a stroke. “Several investigations and optimizations are still required before the technology can be introduced into clinical routine as a medical device. Together with the Fraunhofer IZI and Leipzig University Hospital, we look forward to continuing with the development of a prototype which is suitable for practice and preparing its market launch,” commented Dr. Mark K. Borsody, Founder and Chief Medical Officer, describing the cooperation work of the joint project.

“The Fraunhofer IZI is contributing its comprehensive expertise in the areas of stroke research and preclinical development. Expressive model systems are to verify both the safety and efficacy of the procedure. The procedure can then be optimized accordingly by our colleagues at MD-5, based on these investigations,” commented Dr. Antje Dreyer, Head of the Clinic-oriented Therapy Assessment Unit at Fraunhofer IZI, describing the Fraunhofer Institute's role in the project.

With the addition of MD-5 GmbH, founded in Leipzig in October 2012 as a subsidiary of the US company Lake Bioscience LLC, Fraunhofer IZI has managed to bring on board another international partner and increase investment in the biotechnology location of Saxony.

“We are very glad that we succeded in convincing our colleagues from Lake Biosciences to establish their european subsidiary in Leipzig / Saxony” adds Dr. Thomas Tradler, Head of Business Development at the Fraunhofer IZI.

The project, valued at a total of 1.4 million euros, is being funded through the Sächsische Aufbaubank (Saxon Development Bank) with a total of 1.1 million euros coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and also from the Free State of Saxony.