Research Foundation News

April 13, 2021

Technology to treat neurological diseases, pain wins Indiana fund’s commercialization award

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Technology to provide new options for patients with neurological disease and pain has received major new support.

Neuro Vigor, a Purdue University-affiliated startup, won a $100,000 Early Commercialization Award from the Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Fund. The company’s proprietary drugs offer new disease-modifying therapies to reduce patient suffering in neuro-degenerative conditions. This is the first time the research fund has provided support to an early commercialization company.

“This award is a significant show of support for our company and technologies,” said Mark Van Fleet, CEO of Neuro Vigor. “Our initial target is neuropathic pain in spinal cord injury, a largely unmet medical challenge, but our solution has exciting potential for several other devastating neurological diseases, including Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s.”

Dr. Henry Feuer, neurosurgeon and chairman of the fund’s board, said, “This creation of an early commercialization opportunity as part of our annual funding mechanism recognizes the contributions that established or startup companies could provide.”

“This award, using rigid National Institutes of Health criteria, will enable Neuro Vigor to bring together top scientists and collaborators in order to develop a novel therapeutic strategy to reduce the consequences from neuropathic pain, with fewer side effects.”

Neuro Vigor’s technology is largely based on the work of Riyi Shi, Purdue’s Mari Hulman George Endowed Professor of Applied Neuroscience, director of the Center for Paralysis Research in the College of Veterinary Medicine and a professor of biomedical engineering.

“It is an incredible honor to be recognized for our efforts to bring meaningful research out of the lab and into the clinic,” said Shi, a noted Purdue neurorescientist and chief scientist for Neuro Vigor. “These advances benefit not only Purdue and the scientific arena, but most importantly patients.”

The Neuro Vigor team worked with the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub. The research project will involve collaboration with scientists from the University of Western Australia.

“This is a very dedicated team advancing technology to impact an exceptionally important unmet medical need,” said Wade Lange, vice president and chief entrepreneurial officer at the Purdue Foundry. “It’s yet another great example of the success of the Purdue entrepreneurial ecosystem, where researchers pair with entrepreneurs to start companies and move inventions to the marketplace.”

Shi also works with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization to patent his discoveries. This office operates as one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S.

About Purdue Research Foundation

Purdue Research Foundation supports Purdue University’s land-grant mission by helping the university improve the world through its technologies and graduates. Established in 1930, PRF is a private, nonprofit foundation. The foundation helps patent and commercialize Purdue technologies; builds places to encourage innovation, invention, investment, commercialization and entrepreneurship; and makes equity available to students to finance their Purdue education. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at For more information about involvement and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at

About Neuro Vigor

Neuro Vigor is an Indiana-based firm developing novel drugs to address neuro-degenerative disease, pain and injury. The company’s innovative strategy reduces toxic aldehydes, a significant contributor to the pathology and symptoms of multiple neurological dysfunctions. For more information:

About the Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Fund

The Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Fund (ISCBIR) Board was established in 2007 by the state legislature to fund research related to the treatment of spinal cord and brain injuries. These injuries to our nervous system have proven to be the most difficult to treat of all injuries. The research projects for these treatments include acute management, medical complications, rehabilitative techniques and neuronal recovery. Since 2008, our board has implemented an annual call for proposals to achieve that goal. Last year, the board expanded its annual funding mechanism to address a gap in the development of new techniques. This creation of an early commercialization opportunity as part of our annual funding mechanism, recognizes the contributions that established or startup companies could provide.

Writer: Chris Adam

Media contact: Kelly Nicholl,

Mark Van Fleet,

Henry Feuer,

Riyi Shi,

Wade Lange,

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