Conference Explores the Potential of Remyelination for Demyelinating Disorders like Multiple Sclerosis

On June 26, scientists and clinicians will come together to discuss the translation of new research and imaging techniques into potential treatments to promote and visualize remyelination in the central nervous system.

NEW YORK, June 17, 2014—On June 26, the New York Academy of Sciences and Acorda Therapeutics will present the conference Demyelination and Remyelination: From Mechanism to Therapy. Demyelinating diseases and disorders, which cause damage to the protective myelin sheath surrounding nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord, affect millions of people worldwide. The most common such disease is multiple sclerosis, but myelin-associated brain changes can be found in a number of genetic, inflammatory, infectious, cerebrovascular, and neurodegenerative conditions and injuries.

There is currently no cure for demyelinating diseases. However, recent breakthroughs in basic science research of the white matter microenvironment and oligodendrocyte precursor cell development, as well as new high-throughput screening methods, have revealed novel potential sites of action for therapeutics aimed at remyelination. 

"Regenerative medicines for neurological disease represents one of the greatest medical challenges. However, our knowledge of the biology of remyelination has made such progress in recent years that regenerative medicines for chronic demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis are no longer in the realms of aspiration but are now on the brink of clinical reality," says conference scientific co-organizer and keynote presenter Robin Franklin, PhD, Professor of Stem Cell Medicine, Head of Translational Science, Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge.

This one-day, translational conference will present sessions relating to the biology of remyelination, target identification for remyelination, imaging remyelination in the clinic, and clinical advances in emerging therapeutics. Hot topic talks and a conference poster session containing 30+ submissions will aid in the exchange of late-breaking data between the research and clinical communities.

"We are facing a tremendous progress in technology and strategies for myelin repair and yet, the clinical neurologists can only rely mostly on immunomodulatory therapies. This conference on remyelination is aimed at providing an exciting forum for discussion and showcasing the latest scientific discoveries," says conference scientific co-organizer and speaker Patrizia Casaccia, MD, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, Department of Neurology and Department of Genomics and Multiscale Biology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

For a full conference agenda, visit www.nyas.org/myelin2014

This conference is supported, in part, by Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOR), and by an Educational Grant from Biogen Idec.

For press inquiries, including press passes to the conference, please contact Diana Friedman (dfriedman@nyas.org; 212-298-8645).

 

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About the New York Academy of Sciences

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With more than 22,000 members in 100 countries around the world, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at www.nyas.org.

About Acorda Therapeutics       

Founded in 1995, Acorda Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on developing therapies that improve the lives of people with neurological disorders.

Acorda markets three FDA-approved therapies including: AMPYRA® (dalfampridine) Extended Release Tablets, 10 mg, a treatment to improve walking in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS); ZANAFLEX CAPSULES® (tizanidine hydrochloride) and Zanaflex tablets, a short-acting drug for the management of spasticity; and QUTENZA® (capsaicin) 8% Patch for the management of neuropathic pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia. AMPYRA is marketed outside the United States as FAMPYRA® (prolonged-release fampridine tablets) by Biogen Idec under a licensing agreement from Acorda.

Acorda has one of the leading pipelines in the industry of novel neurological therapies. The Company is currently developing six clinical-stage therapies and one preclinical stage therapy that address a range of disorders including post-stroke deficits, epilepsy, stroke, peripheral nerve damage, spinal cord injury, neuropathic pain, and heart failure. For more information, please visit the Company's website at: www.acorda.com.