Technology related to the research of Purdue Veterinary Medicine neuroscientist Riyi Shi has received major new support as a means of providing new options for patients with neurological disease and pain.
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.”
Neuro Vigor’s technology is largely based on the work of Dr. Shi, who holds a joint appointment as Purdue’s Mari Hulman George Endowed Professor of Applied Neuroscience and professor of biomedical engineering and serves as director of the Center for Paralysis Research in the College of Veterinary Medicine. “It is an incredible honor to be recognized for our efforts to bring meaningful research out of the lab and into the clinic,” said Dr. Shi, who is chief scientist for Neuro Vigor. “These advances benefit not only Purdue and the scientific arena, but most importantly patients.”
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.”
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.”
Dr. 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.