Purdue startup commercializing innovation to reduce neurotoxin that damages nerve cells, triggers pain

September 16, 2014  

Shi spinal

Purdue researcher Riyi Shi is commercializing a technology that could reduce the symptoms and pain of neurological disease and injury, including multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain and Parkinson's disease through his startup Neuro Vigor LLC. The innovation could reduce symptoms and pain by identifying and reducing the amount of a neurotoxin that is produced in the body after nerve cells are injured. (Purdue University photo/Michel Schweinsberg)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Purdue startup is commercializing a technology that could reduce the symptoms and pain of neurological disease and injury, including multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain and Parkinson's disease.

The innovation developed by Neuro Vigor LLC could reduce the symptoms and pain by identifying and lowering the amount of a neurotoxin, called acrolein, that rises with disease and injury, and whose reduction has potential to yield significant therapeutic benefits. 

Riyi Shi (pronounced Ree Shee), a professor of neuroscience and biomedical engineering in Purdue University's Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, leads the research team for this technology. Shi also is a co-founder and the chief scientist of Neuro Vigor.

"The goal of this innovation is to develop drugs which effectively reduce or remove this poison, bringing relief to patients worldwide," Shi said. "Our preclinical research has shown by lowering acrolein we could much reduce the symptoms and pain of neurological diseases and injuries."

Neuro Vigor is now undergoing advanced preclinical research before beginning clinical trials and eventual patient use.

"Dr. Shi's technology can address several current unmet medical needs, because conventional treatments for neurological disease and neuropathic pain are often inadequate and may have serious side effects," said Mark Van Fleet, co-founder of Neuro Vigor. "By further developing and commercializing acrolein-reducing drugs, we plan to improve the lives of patients suffering from these devastating and often progressive neurological disorders”

A video about the technology can be viewed at http://youtu.be/wPQ_wjZ9u90

The technology is patented through the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, which operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. 

Neuro Vigor is one of 24 startups based on Purdue intellectual property that were launched in the 2014 fiscal year. For information on other Purdue intellectual property ready for licensing and commercialization, visit http://www.otc-prf.org. For more information about available leadership positions, investing in a Purdue startup or licensing a Purdue innovation, visit http://www.purduefoundry.com.

About Neuro Vigor

Neuro Vigor is a privately held limited liability corporation headquartered in West Lafayette, Indiana. The company was co-founded in 2013 by Riyi Shi and Mark Van Fleet, former executive director of Purdue's Global Business Engagement initiative, and a senior executive with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Neuro Vigor is focused on the commercialization of therapeutics and diagnostics to address diseases and disorders of the human neurological system. The company's founding team also includes David Giddings, the former president & COO of Boehringer Mannheim Corp., a leading global medical and pharmaceutical firm; chairman, president and CEO of Diametrics Medical Inc.; and CEO of Digilab Inc. 

About Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology-transfer programs among leading research universities in the United States. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university's academic activities. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year from the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. 

Writer: Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org 

Sources: Riyi Shi, 765-496-3018, riyi@purdue.edu

 Mark Van Fleet, 765-430-5559, mvanfleet@neurovig.com

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