A team led by researchers at University of Oxford have been awarded a grant from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) in the U.K. to conduct a feasibility trial to investigate whether anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy, administered at the time of surgery, can reduce or prevent post operative delirium and cognitive deficit.
The trial is jointly funded by NIHR and 180 Life Sciences (NASDAQ:ATNF) and is expected to be open for enrollment in the first half of 2023.
“This dual funding model and collaboration between academia and industry leverages the expertise of both to develop new therapeutic strategies, for what we believe is a major unmet medical need, in the most effective way to benefit patients in the shortest possible timescale,” Dr. Jim Woody, CEO of 180 Life Sciences, said in a statement.
Post-operative delirium is recognized as the most common surgical complication in older adults.
The Oxford team found that the trauma associated with surgery leads to the release of proinflammatory mediators, especially TNF, which in turn leads to inflammation of a part of the brain called the hippocampus. The hippocampus is involved in memory and is associated with learning and emotions.
Under a prior memorandum of understanding, the anti-TNF infliximab, Remsima (a biosimilar of Remicade), approved for use in the U.K., will be supplied for the trial by Celltrion Healthcare. The University of Oxford and Celltrion are currently completing contract terms.
An issued patent to protect this potential use has been licensed by 180 Life Sciences from The Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research. 180 Life Sciences also has the rights for commercialization of the trial results.