New treatment may work with folic acid to prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida

27 August 2013

The recent publication by Professor Nicholas Greene and his colleagues at the UCL Institute of Child Health in the journal Brain, describes a new treatment that could work alongside folic acid, to boost its effectiveness and prevent a greater proportion of neural tube defects – such as spina bifida – in early pregnancy.

This research shows that the new treatment, when tested in mice, reduced the incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs) by 85 per cent. This new approach was also successful in preventing some kinds of NTDs that are currently unresponsive to folic acid.

It is hoped that if this data translates into the clinic, this nucleotide treatment could boost the effects of folic acid, and offer expectant mothers an even more reliable safeguard against relatively common defects, like spina bifida.

The development was supported by UCLB Proof of Concept funding and UCLB has filed patents covering this novel approach.

Dr Chris Williams, UCLB Business Manager on the project commented: “We are extremely excited about the data currently being generated and look forward to supporting the team in identifying suitable partners to realise and deliver its benefits in the clinic.

UCL Press Release: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0813/12082013-Treatment-may-work-with-folic-acid-to-prevent-neural-tube-defects-like-spina-bifida-Greene
UCLB Technology Record: https://www.uclb.com/technology-finder/technology/formulations-for-the-prevention-of-neural-tube-defects
Article in Brain: http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/08/08/brain.awt209.short?rss=1

For further information, please contact Dr Chris Williams, Senior Business Manager:
Email: c.williams@uclb.com, Telephone: 020 7679 9000

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