(19)
(11)EP 3 173 091 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
22.07.2020 Bulletin 2020/30

(21)Application number: 16192090.5

(22)Date of filing:  17.08.2009
(27)Previously filed application:
 17.08.2009 PCT/US2009/004692
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
A61K 38/18(2006.01)
A61P 25/28(2006.01)

(54)

COMPOSITIONS AND METHODS FOR TREATMENT DURING NON-ACUTE PERIODS FOLLOWING CNS NEUROLOGICAL INJURY

ZUSAMMENSETZUNGEN UND VERFAHREN ZUR BEHANDLUNG WÄHREND NICHT AKUTER ZEITRÄUME NACH NEUROLOGISCHEN VERLETZUNGEN DES ZNS

COMPOSITIONS ET PROCEDE DE TRAITEMENT PENDANT DES PERIODES NON AIGUËS A LA SUITE DE LESION NEUROLOGIQUE SNC


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 15.08.2008 US 189191 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
31.05.2017 Bulletin 2017/22

(60)Divisional application:
20179893.1

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
09806990.9 / 2328606

(73)Proprietor: Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.
Ardsley, NY 10502 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • CAGGIANO, Anthony
    Larchmont, NY New York 10538 (US)
  • IACI, Jennifer
    Boonton, NJ 07005 (US)

(74)Representative: Haseltine Lake Kempner LLP 
Lincoln House, 5th Floor 300 High Holborn
London WC1V 7JH
London WC1V 7JH (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
  
  • JIN KUNLIN ET AL: "Post-ischemic administration of heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF) reduces infarct size and modifies neurogenesis after focal cerebral ischemia in the rat", JOURNAL OF CEREBRAL BLOOD FLOW AND METABOLISM, NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, US, vol. 24, no. 4, 1 April 2004 (2004-04-01), pages 399-408, XP009154760, ISSN: 0271-678X
  • TANAKA N ET AL: "HEPARIN-BINDING EPIDERMAL GROWTH FACTOR-LIKE GROWTH FACTOR MRNA EXPRESSION IN NEANATAL RAT BRAIN WITH HYPOXIC/ISCHEMIC INJURY", BRAIN RESEARCH, ELSEVIER, AMSTERDAM, NL, vol. 827, 1 January 1999 (1999-01-01), pages 130-138, XP002922942, ISSN: 0006-8993, DOI: 10.1016/S0006-8993(99)01319-0
  • WANG L ET AL: "Cloning and neuronal expression of a type III newt neuregulin and rescue of denervated, nerve-dependent newt limb blastemas by rhGGF2", JOURNAL OF NEUROBIOLOGY, JOHN WILEY AND SONS., NEW YORK, NY, US, vol. 43, no. 2, 1 May 2000 (2000-05-01), pages 150-158, XP009154759, ISSN: 0022-3034
  • HAYASE Y ET AL: "HEPARIN-BINDING EGF-LIKE GROWTH FACTOR (HB-EGF) IN TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY", BRAIN PATHOLOGY, ZUERICH, CH, vol. 7, no. 4, 1 January 1997 (1997-01-01) , XP008039955, ISSN: 1015-6305
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

FIELD OF THE INVENTION



[0001] The field of the invention relates to treatment of central nervous system neuroinjury. More specifically, the invention is directed to the administration of a neuregulin [e.g., glial growth factor 2 (GGF2)] to a subject during the non-acute or chronic period following traumatic neuroinjury.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



[0002] Central nervous system (CNS) injuries are a serious health problem. This category of injury includes events such as ischemic injury, hemorrhagic injury, penetrating trauma and non-penetrating trauma. CNS injuries generally heal incompletely leaving the subject with some degree of permanent dysfunction ranging from extremely mild to death. The residual dysfunction may include motor, sensory, cognitive, emotional and autonomic abnormalities.

[0003] A key category of CNS neuroinjury comprises brain injury. Brain injury is a devastating condition that results in some degree of permanent disability including motor, sensory and cognitive deficits and emotional instability such as post traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit disorder, depression and emotional lability. Common causes of brain injury include ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, subdural hematoma, epidural hematoma, closed head injury (acceleration / deceleration, concussion and rotational), penetrating brain injury (gun shot wounds and other projectiles).

[0004] Stroke is the third-leading cause of death and the main cause of disability in the western world. Stroke, therefore, presents a large socioeconomic burden. The etiology of a stroke can be either ischemic, which is the case in the majority of strokes, or hemorrhagic. An ischemic stroke can be caused by a clot that forms elsewhere in the body and travels via the bloodstream to the brain (embolic stroke) or by a blood clot that forms inside the artery of the brain (thrombotic stroke). After massive cell death in the immediate infarct core due to lack of glucose and oxygen, the infarct area expands for days, owing to secondary mechanisms such as glutamate excitotoxicity, apoptotic mechanisms, and generation of free radicals. Following neuroinjuries (e.g. an ischemic event) animals and people may recover function over several days, weeks and months without any therapeutic. All too often, this recovery however is only partial and animals and people suffer from permanent disability which may include motor, sensory and cognitive deficits.

[0005] Risk factors that increase the likelihood of an individual having a stroke are well known. These include risk factors that cannot be changed: advanced age, heredity, ace, gender, prior history of stroke or heart attack; and risk factors that can be changed, treated or controlled: high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, diabetes mellitus, carotid or other artery disease, atrial fibrillation, other heart disease, sickle cell disease, high blood cholesterol, poor diet, and physical inactivity and obesity.

[0006] To date, the non-palliative treatment of ischemic stroke is confined to therapeutics administered in the acute phase following a stroke. The acute phase ranges from the time of onset of the neuroinjury (e.g., stroke) to approximately six hours post-neuroinjury. The acute phase is followed by the semi-acute phase, which ranges from approximately six hours to two days post-neuroinjury. Accordingly, current non-palliative therapeutics are used in an attempt to reverse the occlusion of blood flow, restore oxygenation of the brain and limit the extent of lost brain structure. Other than tPA for acute use, there are no drugs are approved for the treatment of stroke. Patients remain with some level of dysfunction that at best may improve somewhat endogenously for approximately 60 days. This recovery may only be augmented by physical therapy. Unfortunately, many patients are left with permanent disability with little hope for improvement.

[0007] At present, the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of ischemic stroke is tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). tPA is a serine protease that converts plasminogen to plasmin. Plasmin then breaks fibrin which is a component of the clots that occlude the vessels in the brain and cause strokes. It is ideally administered within three hours from the onset of symptoms. Generally, only 3% to 5% of individuals who suffer a stroke reach the hospital in time to be considered for this treatment. Ideally, tPA is administered within the first three hours post-occlusion, but may be administered by some clinicians as late as six hours post-occlusion. Unfortunately, the vast majority of patients who experience a stroke fail to reach the hospital in time to be considered for this treatment. For those patients who arrive at the hospital within the efficacious temporal window, tPA is administered in an attempt to reverse the occlusion of blood flow, restore oxygenation of the brain and limit the extent of lost brain structure. However, there are some significant contraindications that limit the ongoing use of tPA. After an initial period of about 3 to 6 hours, at most, tPA can cause intracerbral bleeding and hemorrhagic stroke. For such reasons, tPA is limited to administration during the acute phase in order to achieve any therapeutic efficacy.

[0008] To date no other therapy has been approved for the treatment of stroke. Other experimental therapies such as arterially delivered pro-urokinase are under investigation as potential means for disrupting clots and restoring blood flow. The scientific literature has, however, described many agents that have proven beneficial for protecting brain matter and restoring function in experimental animal models of stroke. All these agents focus on reducing acute cell death, inflammation, and apoptosis and must, therefore, be delivered within hours (some up to 24 hours) after the ischemic event. Heretofore, it is generally accepted that treatment for CNS injury such as stroke is required acutely. (Abe et al., 2008, J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. Jul 23, Epub ahead of print, Sun et al., 2008, Stroke Jul 10, Epub ahead of print, pages not available yet); Dohare et al., 2008, Behav Brain Res. 193(2):289-97; Belayev et al., 2001, Stroke 32(2):553-60).

[0009] Such agents have not, however, been shown to limit damage to the brain, restore function or enhance recovery following stroke when administered after a lag time of several hours, at most in some experimental animal models about one day following stroke. The only therapy known to show efficacy days and weeks after a stroke is palliative or rehabilitative, such as occupational or physical therapy. Indeed, the present inventors are not aware of any agents or drugs that have been shown to enhance recovery days or weeks following stroke.

[0010] After an acute occlusion, there is often a localized area of destroyed brain matter that is surrounded by a penumbral zone that will die within hours if circulation is not restored. The time to death of this penumbral zone can be extended by a few hours in experimental models with neuroprotectants, such as NMDA antagonists, calcium channel blockers, radical scavengers and trapping agents, anti-apoptotics, caspase inhibitors, parp inhibitors, etc. For this purpose a "neuroprotectant" is something that can save neurons before they die from the variety of insults presented to them in the acute phase. After 24 to 48 hours, however, there is little hope for protecting cells from necrotic death and, while apoptotic death continues for several days (See Figure 1 the therapeutic window for anti-apoptotic therapies has not proven to be much wider than acute protective therapies [Schulz et al., 1998, Cell Death Differ. 5(10):847-57; Komjati et al., 2004, Int J Mol Med. 13(3):373-82].

[0011] Neuregulin exhibits neuroprotective properties which, like other agents described above, have shown benefit in reducing the disability seen if delivered to animals within hours after stroke. See United States Application Serial Number 09/530,884.

[0012] In view of the prevalence of neuroinjury, particularly with regard to stroke, there is a need for therapeutic agents that can be administered efficaciously to subjects to limit damage to the brain, restore function and/or enhance recovery following neuroinjury.

[0013] Neuregulins (NRGs) and NRG receptors comprise a growth factor-receptor tyrosine kinase system for cell-cell signaling that is involved in organogenesis in nerve, muscle, epithelia, and other tissues (Lemke, Mol. Cell. Neurosci. 7:247-262, 1996 and Burden et al., Neuron 18:847-855, 1997). The NRG family consists of four genes that encode numerous ligands containing epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like, immunoglobulin (Ig), and other recognizable domains. Numerous secreted and membrane-attached isoforms function as ligands in this signaling system. The receptors for NRG ligands are all members of the EGF receptor (EGFR) family, and include EGFR (or ErbB1), ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4, also known as HER1 through HER4, respectively, in humans (Meyer et al., Development 124:3575-3586, 1997; Orr-Urtreger et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90: 1867-71, 1993; Marchionni et al., Nature 362:312-8, 1993; Chen et al., J. Comp. Neurol. 349:389-400, 1994; Corfas et al., Neuron 14:103-115, 1995; Meyer et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 91:1064-1068, 1994; and Pinkas-Kramarski et al., Oncogene 15:2803-2815, 1997).

[0014] The four NRG genes, NRG-1, NRG-2, NRG-3, and NRG-4, map to distinct chromosomal loci (Pinkas-Kramarski et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 91:9387-91, 1994; Carraway et al., Nature 387:512-516, 1997; Chang et al., Nature 387:509-511, 1997; and Zhang et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 94:9562-9567, 1997), and collectively encode a diverse array of NRG proteins. The gene products ofNRG-1, for example, comprise a group of approximately 15 distinct structurally-related isoforms (Lemke, Mol. Cell. Neurosci. 7:247-262, 1996 and Peles and Yarden, BioEssays 15:815-824, 1993). The first-identified isoforms of NRG-1 included Neu Differentiation Factor (NDF; Peles et al., Cell 69, 205-216, 1992 and Wen et al., Cell 69, 559-572, 1992), heregulin (HRG; Holmes et al., Science 256:1205-1210, 1992), Acetylcholine Receptor Inducing Activity (ARIA; Falls et al., Cell 72:801-815, 1993), and the glial growth factors GGF1, GGF2, and GGF3 (Marchionni et al. Nature 362:312-8, 1993).

[0015] The NRG-2 gene was identified by homology cloning (Chang et al., Nature 387:509-512, 1997; Carraway et al., Nature 387:512-516, 1997; and Higashiyama et al., J. Biochem. 122:675-680, 1997) and through genomic approaches (Busfield et al., Mol. Cell. Biol. 17:4007-4014, 1997). NRG-2 cDNAs are also known as Neural- and Thymus-Derived Activator of ErbB Kinases (NTAK; Genbank Accession No. AB005060), Divergent of Neuregulin (Don-1), and Cerebellum-Derived Growth Factor (CDGF; PCT application WO 97/09425). Experimental evidence shows that cells expressing ErbB4 or the ErbB2/ErbB4 combination are likely to show a particularly robust response to NRG-2 (Pinkas-Kramarski et al., Mol. Cell. Biol. 18:6090-6101, 1998). The NRG-3 gene product (Zhang et al., supra) is also known to bind and activate ErbB4 receptors (Hijazi et al., Int. J. Oncol. 13:1061-1067, 1998).

[0016] An EGF-like domain is present at the core of all forms of NRGs, and is required for binding and activating ErbB receptors. Deduced amino acid sequences of the EGF-like domains encoded in the three genes are approximately 30-40% identical (pairwise comparisons). Further, there appear to be at least two sub-forms of EGF-like domains in NRG-1 and NRG-2, which may confer different bioactivities and tissue-specific potencies

[0017] Cellular responses to NRGs are mediated through the NRG receptor tyrosine kinases EGFR, ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4 of the epidermal growth factor receptor family. High-affinity binding of all NRGs is mediated principally via either ErbB3 or ErbB4. Binding of NRG ligands leads to dimerization with other ErbB subunits and transactivation by phosphorylation on specific tyrosine residues. In certain experimental settings, nearly all combinations of ErbB receptors appear to be capable of forming dimers in response to the binding of NRG-1 isoforms. However, it appears that ErbB2 is a preferred dimerization partner that may play an important role in stabilizing the ligand-receptor complex. ErbB2 does not bind ligand on its own, but must be heterologously paired with one of the other receptor subtypes. ErbB3 does not possess tyrosine kinase activity, but is a target for phosphorylation by the other receptors. Expression of NRG-1, ErbB2, and ErbB4 is known to be necessary for trabeculation of the ventricular myocardium during mouse development.

[0018] JIN KUNLIN ET AL, JOURNAL OF CEREBRAL BLOOD FLOW AND METABOLISM, vol. 24, no. 4, pages 399 - 408 discloses that Post-ischemic administration of heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor reduces infarct size and modifies neurogenesis after focal cerebral ischemia in the rat.

[0019] TANAKA N ET AL, BRAIN RESEARCH, vol. 827, pages 130 - 138, discloses information on heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor mRNA expression in neonatal rat brain with hypoxic/ischemic injury.

[0020] WANG L ET AL, JOURNAL OF NEUROBIOLOGY, vol. 43, no. 2, pages 150 - 158 discloses information on cloning and neuronal expression of a type III newt neuregulin and rescue of denervated, nerve-dependent newt limb blastemas by rhGGF2.

[0021] HAYASE Y ET AL, BRAIN PATHOLOGY, vol. 7, no. 4 discloses information on heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor in traumatic brain injury.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0022] The present invention provides a polypeptide comprising an epidermal growth factor-like (EGF-like) domain for use in the treatment of a neuroinjury in a mammal resulting from a stroke, wherein the polypeptide comprising the epidermal growth factor-like (EGF-like) domain is administered following the neuroinjury in the mammal, and wherein administration is initiated within six hours after the neuroinjury, and wherein the administration is continued for a time period of more than six hours post injury. Also provided is the use of a polypeptide comprising an epidermal growth factor-like (EGF-like) domain in the manufacture of a medicament for the treatment of a neuroinjury in a mammal resulting from a stroke, wherein the polypeptide comprising the EGF-like domain is administered following neuroinjury in the mammal, and wherein administration is initiated within six hours after the neuroinjury, and wherein the administration is continued for a time period of more than six hours post injury.

[0023] The present invention is based on the observation that therapeutic benefits of a polypeptide that contains an epidermal growth factor-like (EGF-like) domain can be achieved by administering a therapeutically effective amount of the polypeptide to a mammal.

[0024] See Figures 6A-6D for the amino and nucleic acid sequences of full length human GGF2 an isoform of NRG-1.

[0025] In an aspect of the invention, suitable mammals include mice, rats, rabbits, dogs, monkeys or pigs. In a more particular embodiment of the invention, the mammal is a human.

Definitions:



[0026] As used herein, the term 'about" comprises the specified value plus or minus 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 % of the specified value. In one embodiment "about signifies 98-102% of the specified value. In one embodiment "about" signifies 95-105% of the specified value.

[0027] Post-injury, the "acute phase" ranges from the time of onset of the neuroinjury (e.g., stroke) to approximately six hours post-neuroinjury. The acute phase is followed by the "semi-acute phase", which ranges from approximately six hours to two days post-neuroinjury. In one embodiment the "semi-acute phase" ranges from approximately six hours to three days post-neuroinjury. The period following the semi-acute phase is referred to as the "chronic phase" post-neuroinjury. The post-acute phase includes both the semi-acute and chronic post-injury periods.

[0028] By "epidermal growth factor-like domain" or "EGF-like domain" is meant a polypeptide motif encoded by the NRG-1, NRG-2, NRG-3 or NRG-4 gene that binds to and activates ErbB2, ErbB3, ErbB4, or combinations thereof, and bears a structural similarity to the EGF receptor-binding domain as disclosed in Holmes et al., Science 256:1205-1210, 1992; U.S. Pat. No. 5,530,109; U.S. Pat. No. 5,716,930; U.S. Pat. No. 7,037,888; Hijazi et al., Int. J. Oncol. 13:1061-1067, 1998; Chang et al., Nature 387:509-512, 1997; Carraway et al., Nature 387:512-516, 1997; Higashiyama et al., J Biochem. 122:675-680, 1997; and WO 97/09425). See Figures 7-12 for nucleic and amino acid sequences corresponding to EGFL domains 1-6 encoded by the NRG-1 gene.

[0029] By "expression vector" is meant a genetically engineered plasmid or virus, derived from, for example, a bacteriophage, adenovirus, retrovirus, poxvirus, herpesvirus, or artificial chromosome, that is used to transfer a polypeptide (e.g., a neuregulin) coding sequence, operably linked to a promoter, into a host cell, such that the encoded peptide or polypeptide is expressed within the host cell.

[0030] The terms "neuroinjury" and "injury" are often used interchangeably herein. "neurotrauma" is one embodiment of a "neuroinjury" and may generally be considered a synonym . A "neuroinjury" is an injury that causes some destruction or death of neurological tissue. A neuroinjury generally has as sequelae some loss, e.g., a diminution of mental, sensory or muscle function.

[0031] A "neuroprotectant" is something that can save neurons before they die from the variety of insults presented to them in the acute or semi-acute post-injury phase. After an acute occlusion, there is often a localized area of destroyed brain matter that is surrounded by a penumbral zone that will die within hours if circulation is not restored. The time to death of this penumbral zone can be extended by a few hours in experimental models with "neuroprotectants", such as NMDA antagonists, calcium channel blockers, radical scavengers and trapping agents, anti-apoptotics, caspase inhibitors, parp inhibitors, etc. For this purpose a "neuroprotectant" is something that can save neurons before they die from the variety of insults presented to them in the acute phase

[0032] By "neuregulin" or "NRG" is meant a polypeptide that is encoded by an NRG-1, NRG-2, NRG-3 or NRG-4 gene or nucleic acid (e.g., a cDNA), and binds to and activates EGFR, ErbB1, ErbB2, ErbB3, or ErbB4 receptors, or combinations thereof.

[0033] By "neuregulin-1," "NRG-1," "heregulin," "GGF2," or "p185erbB2 ligand" is meant a polypeptide that binds to the ErbB2 receptor and is encoded by the p185erbB2 ligand gene described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,530,109; U.S. Pat. No. 5,716,930; and U.S. Pat. No. 7,037,888. Binding to the erbB2 receptor may be indirect through heterologous pairing of the erbB2 receptor to erbB1, erbB3 or erbB4.

[0034] By "neuregulin-like polypeptide" is meant a polypeptide that possesses an EGF-like domain encoded by a neuregulin gene, and binds to and activates EGFR, ErbB1, ErbB-2, ErbB-3, ErbB-4, or a combination thereof. Binding to the erbB2 receptor may be indirect through heterologous pairing of the erbB2 receptor to erbB1, erbB3 or erbB4.

[0035] As used herein, the term "neurorecovery" is used to refer to the process by which the nervous system restores its functioning towards a normal state following injury, disease, infection or other disruption of the nervous system, the brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves.

[0036] By "operably linked" is meant that a nucleic acid encoding a polypeptide (e.g., a cDNA) and one or more regulatory sequences are connected in such a way as to permit gene expression when the appropriate molecules (e.g., transcriptional activator proteins) are bound to the regulatory sequences.

[0037] As used herein "peptide" comprises, consists essentially of, or consists of a peptide of about: 625, 600, 575, 550, 525, 500, 475, 450, 425, 400, 375, 350, 325, 300, 275, 250, 225, 200, 175, 150, 125, 100, 75, 50 or fewer than 50 amino acids.

[0038] By "promoter" is meant a minimal sequence sufficient to direct transcription. Also included in the disclosure are those promoter elements which are sufficient to render promoter-dependent gene expression controllable for cell type or physiological status (e.g., hypoxic versus normoxic conditions), or inducible by external signals or agents; such elements may be located in the 5' or 3' or internal regions of the native gene.

[0039] The term "therapeutically effective amount" is intended to mean that amount of a drug or pharmaceutical agent that elicits the biological or medical response of a tissue, a system, animal or human that is being sought by a researcher, veterinarian, medical doctor or other clinician. A therapeutic change is a change in a measured biochemical characteristic in a direction expected to alleviate the disease or condition being addressed. More particularly, a "therapeutically effective amount" is an amount sufficient to decrease the symptoms associated with a medical condition or infirmity, to normalize body functions in disease or disorders that result in impairment of specific bodily functions, or to provide improvement in one or more of the clinically measured parameters of a disease.

[0040] As used herein, the term "treating means obtaining recovery following a neuroinjury where there would otherwise be none; accelerating the rate of natural recovery following a neuroinjury; or promoting recovery to a higher functioning level. Without being bound by theory, in the chronic post-injury window it is not contemplated that there will be an ability to lessen any further neurological death, i.e., it is understood in that the nerves have died by the time the chronic window occurs. However, treatment also comprises during the chronic period, e.g., lessening a decrease function or viability of tissue (e.g., muscle or bone) that would otherwise occur in the tissue served by the comprised nerve. In addition, treatment comprises during the chronic period, e.g., lessening of atrophy (e.g., of muscle or bone) that would otherwise occur in the tissue served by the comprised nerve.

[0041] By "transformed cell" is meant a cell (or a descendent of a cell) into which a DNA molecule encoding a neuregulin or polypeptide having a neuregulin EGF-like domain has been introduced, by means of recombinant DNA techniques or known gene therapy techniques.

[0042] Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0043] 

Figure 1 shows a schematic of the progressive phases following stroke/ischemia. In the figure "OT" indicates occupational therapy and "PT" indicates physical therapy.

Figure 2 depicts forelimb behavioral scores following permanent ligation of the middle cerebral artery. Rats were treated with GGF2, NRG1, FGF, or vehicle as indicated. FGF and GGF2 at 100 µg/kg demonstrated significant improvements at the Day 21 behavioral test. (¶, +, ¥, * indicate significantly different from vehicle for bFGF, NRG1, GGF2 at 6.5 ug/kg and GGF2 at 100 ug/kg by ANOVA and post-Tukey).

Figure 3 depicts hindlimb behavioral scores following permanent ligation of the middle cerebral artery. Rats were treated with GGF2, NRG1, FGF, or vehicle as indicated. GGF2 at 6.5 µg/kg and NRG at 1.0 µg/kg were significantly better than vehicle at the Day 7 and 14 behavioral testing, but not at the study endpoint on Day 21. GGF2 at 100 µg/kg and FGF were significantly better than vehicle at all behavioral time points after treatment. (¶, +, ¥, * indicate significantly different from vehicle for bFGF, NRG1, GGF2 at 6.5 ug/kg and GGF2 at 100 ug/kg by ANOVA and post-Tukey).

Figure 4 depicts body swing behavioral scores following permanent ligation of the middle cerebral artery. Rats were treated with GGF2, NRG1, FGF, or vehicle as indicated. GGF2 at 100 µg/kg and FGF were significantly improved compared to vehicle at Day 21 . (¶, +, ¥, * indicate significantly different from vehicle for bFGF, NRG1, GGF2 at 6.5 ug/kg and GGF2 at 100 ug/kg by repeated measures ANOVA and post-hoc Tukey).

Figure 5A shows forelimb behavioral scores following permanent ligation of the middle cerebral artery. Rats were treated with GGF2 starting 1, 3 or 7 days after the ligation. GGF2 was delivered at 0.1 mg/kg, IV daily for 10 days. Forelimb behavioral scores were significantly better than vehicle with all treatment paradigms at the day 21 time point .(*, ¥, + indicate significantly different from vehicle for the day 1, 3 and 7 treatment groups, respectively by repeated measures ANOVA and post-hoc Tukey).

Figure 5B shows hindlimb behavioral scores following permanent ligation of the middle cerebral artery. Rats were treated with GGF2 starting 1, 3 or 7 days after the ligation. GGF2 was delivered at 0.1 mg/kg, IV daily for 10 days. Hindlimb behavioral scores were significantly better than vehicle when treatment was initiated at 1 or 7 days after ligation , and were improved compared to vehicle with treatment initiated 3 days post ligation at the day 21 time point..(*, ¥, + indicate significantly different from vehicle for the day 1, 3 and 7 treatment groups, respectively by repeated measures ANOVA and post-hoc Tukey).

Figure 5C shows body swing behavioral scores following permanent ligation of the middle cerebral artery. Rats were treated with GGF2 starting 1, 3 or 7 days after the ligation. GGF2 was delivered at 0.1 mg/kg, IV daily for 10 days. Body swing scores were significantly better than vehicle when treatment was initiated 1 day after ligation , and were improved compared to vehicle with treatment initiated 3 or 7 days post ligation. (*, ¥, + indicate significantly different from vehicle for the day 1, 3 and 7 treatment groups, respectively by repeated measures ANOVA and post-hoc Tukey).

Figures 6A-D show the nucleic and amino acid sequences of full length GGF2.

Figures 7-12 show the nucleic and amino acid sequences of epidermal growth factor like (EGFL) domains 1-6.

Figure 13 shows the nucleic and amino acid sequences of an epidermal growth factor like peptide from the NRG-1 gene.

Figure 14 shows the nucleic and amino acid sequences of ean pidermal growth factor like (EGFL) beta fragment from NRG-1.

Figure 15 shows the nucleic and amino acid sequences of epidermal growth factor like (EGFL) alpha fragment from NRG-1.

Figure 16 shows the nucleic and amino acid sequences of epidermal growth factor like (EGFL) alpha fragment from NRG-2 alpha.

Figure 17 shows the nucleic and amino acid sequences of epidermal growth factor like (EGFL) alpha fragment from NRG-2 beta.

Figure 18 shows amino acid sequence alignments of various EGF-like peptides. EGF-like domain can be defined as sub-domains of NRGs for which sequence alignment reveals at least 25, 26, 27, 28,29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44 or 45 % homology in amino acid sequence as compared to the human EGF molecule (sequence P01133|971 -1023, at the bottom of the alignment in the figure). Homologous amino acids have identical, conserved or semi-conserved physicochemical and structural properties, as denoted by the symbols '*' , ':' and '.' , respectively.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



[0044] As indicated herein, the non-palliative treatment of ischemic stroke has heretofore been confined to therapeutics administered in the acute phase following a stroke.

[0045] Immediate cell death due, at least in part, to oxygen deprivation is observed during the acute phase. Furthermore, as shown in Figure 1, the occlusion of blood flow results in release of intracellular stores of free radicals, glutamate, and calcium and sodium that are understood to destroy brain tissue and expand the area of the lesion.

[0046] The semi-acute phase, from approximately six hours to two days (or three days by some definitions) post-neuroinjury, is characterized by continued free radical release, glutamate dumping, calcium and sodium release, oxygen deprivation of the occluded region, and immediate localized cell death. To date, there are no known clinically approved agents for use in humans during the semi-acute phase following a stroke.

[0047] As depicted in Figure 1, the limited window for pharmaceutical post-neuroinjury therapy is at least partially explained by the pathophysiology and temporal progression of the injury. Within minutes, e.g., of an occlusion, neurons at the core of the infarct are destroyed. In the hours after the occlusion, free radicals, excitotoxic and inflammatory agents are released/produced and these molecules continue to destroy brain tissue and expand the area of the lesion. The extent of the injury can be limited, as described above, by restoring blood flow (using a clinically approved clot-buster, i.e., tPA) and thus achieving re-oxygenation of the affected area.

[0048] As indicated by the scientific literature, various compounds appear to exhibit efficacy in the acute and semi-acute periods. However, after the 24, 36 or 48 hour marks post-CNS neuroinjury, potential therapies progressively lose the ability to treat the injury . In fact, some of the therapeutics modalities, such as tPA, that have an effect in the acute period begin to have serious, life-threatening contraindications as time occurs post-injury.

[0049] Days, weeks or months after an ischemic event, during the chronic phase post-stroke, therapies must be aimed at promoting neurorecovery. The promotion of neurorecovery following a traumatic event such as stroke in the central nervous system involves distinctly different physiologic phenomena and therapeutic strategy than employed in the pre-chronic window. The pre-chronic treatments generally involve agents that aim to restore blood flow and reduce acute cell death. In contrast, a therapeutic agent that can be efficaciously administered at 48 hours or more, or 72 hours or more post-injury is differentiated from acute phase therapeutics by its ability to restore function without altering the size of the ischemic lesion. In one embodiment, treatment begins after essentially complete post-injury death of an ischemic CNS lesion; by "essentially complete post-injury death of an ischemic CNS lesion is intended that the CNS cell death that is directly consequent to the ischemic event will have transpired, other cell death due to age or therapy (whether or not the therapy is designed to address the ischemia) is not within the scope of this definition.

[0050] As shown herein, the present inventors demonstrated that neuregulins are effective in restoring neurological function during the chronic phase of a neurotraumatic injury. In one embodiment, the neurotraumatic injury is an ischemic stroke. As described herein, the present inventors have made the surprising discovery that neuregulin is effective when dosing is initiated during the chronic phase following an ischemic event. Even more surprising is the discovery that neuregulin is effective even when dosing is initiated as late as 7 days after the ischemic event.

[0051] The present data shows that the favorable outcomes achieved have not come about by the same mechanisms found to be effective in immediate post-ischemic treatment. Neuregulin treatment during chronic phase following stroke does not alter the size of the ischemic lesion (see Table 1). This clearly demonstrates that the acute and semi-acute phases of the pathophysiology are complete at these phases, and neuregulin administered during the chronic phase is promoting neurorecovery, rather than establishing reperfusion and protecting neurons.
Table 1 Infarct Volume (%)
bFGF 21.3 ± 3.3
NRG 1.0 µg/kg 26.8 ± 3.0
GGF2 6.5 µg/kg 27.1 ± 3.7
GGF2 100 µg/kg 26.3 ± 3.5
Vehicle 25.0 ± 3.5

Compositions:



[0052] As indicated above, neuregulins are polypeptides encoded by the NRG-1, NRG-2, NRG-3 or NRG-4 genes and possess EGF-like domains that allow them to bind to and activate ErbB receptors. Holmes et al. (Science 256:1205-1210, 1992) have shown that the EGF-like domain alone is sufficient to bind and activate the p185erbB2 receptor. Accordingly, any polypeptide product encoded by the NRG-1, NRG-2, NRG-3 or NRG-4 gene, or any neuregulin-like polypeptide, e.g., a polypeptide having an EGF-like domain encoded by a neuregulin gene or cDNA (e.g., an EGF-like domain containing the NRG-1 peptide subdomains C-C/D or C-C/D', as described in USPN 5,530,109, USPN 5,716,930, and USPN 7,037,888; or an EGF-like domain as disclosed in WO 97/09425) may be used in the disclosed methods. A disclosed composition may be in unit dosage form. Kits comprising disclosed compositions and/or instructions are disclosed.

[0053] Compositions may be administered to patients with a pharmaceutically-acceptable diluent, carrier, or excipient. Conventional pharmaceutical practice is employed to provide formulations or compositions to administer such compositions to patients or experimental animals. Although intravenous administration is preferred, any appropriate route of administration may be employed, for example, parenteral, subcutaneous, intramuscular, intracranial, intraorbital, ophthalmic, intraventricular, intracapsular, intraspinal, intracisternal, intraperitoneal, intranasal, aerosol, oral, or transdermal (e.g., by applying an adhesive patch carrying a formulation capable of crossing the dermis and entering the bloodstream) or topical administration.

[0054] Therapeutic formulations may be in the form of liquid solutions or suspensions; for oral administration, formulations may be in the form of tablets or capsules; and for intranasal formulations, in the form of powders, nasal drops, or aerosols. Methods well known in the art for making formulations are found in, for example, "Remington's Pharmaceutical Sciences." Formulations for parenteral administration may, for example, contain excipients, sterile water, or saline, polyalkylene glycols such as polyethylene glycol, oils of vegetable origin, or hydrogenated napthalenes. Other potentially useful parenteral delivery systems for administering molecules of the invention include ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer particles, osmotic pumps, implantable infusion systems, and liposomes. Formulations for inhalation may contain excipients, for example, lactose, or may be aqueous solutions containing, for example, polyoxyethylene-9-lauryl ether, glycocholate and deoxycholate, or may be oily solutions for administration in the form of nasal drops, or as a gel.

[0055] With respect to intravenous injections, dose levels are generally in a range from one value in the following list to a higher value in the list: about 0.001 mg/kg, about 0.01 mg/kg, about 0.1 mg/kg, about 1 mg/kg, and about 10 mg/kg. The dosing periodicity is generally in regular time intervals of from about every 24, 48, 72, or 96 hours. In an alternative embodiment, the dosing periodicity is generally in regular time intervals of from about every 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, days. In an alternative embodiment, the dosing periodicity is generally in regular time intervals of from about every 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 weeks. After a period of such dosing, less frequent dosing such as monthly, every three months, every four months, or yearly can be employed.

[0056] Transdermal doses are selected to provide essentially identical, similar or lower physiologic levels (plasma, tissue, CSF) than are achieved using injection doses.

[0057] The polypeptides of the invention can be administered as the sole active agent or they can be administered in combination with other agents, including other compounds that may be found to demonstrate the same or a similar therapeutic activity and that are determined to be safe and efficacious for such combined administration. Other such compounds contemplated for use in the treatment of acute or semi-acute neuroinjury include hematopoietic factors (e.g., G-CSF and/or GM-CSF); substances that have thrombolytic activities, e.g., tPA, streptokinase, urokinase, and/or Ancrod; antiplatelet agents such as acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), clopidogrel (Plavix), aspirin combined with extended release dipyridamole (Aggrenox); anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin) or Heparin; and/or substances that interfere with apoptotic signaling (e.g. inhibitors of caspases) or progesterone. It is understood, however, that the above compounds are administered for preventive purposes in advance of stroke (e.g., for antiplatelet agents or anticoagulants), or during the acute phase following stroke (tPA).

[0058] In order to evaluate the motor, sensory or cognitive deficits that are effectively treated in accordance with the present disclosure, several tools are available in the art. Well known indicia for monitoring treatment efficacy include Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MS), Functional Impairment Measure (FIM, Barthel Test, Fugl-Meyer Motor Score, Wolf Motor Function Test, Jebsen-Taylor hand function test, Nottingham Health Profile Part 1 and Motor Assessment Scale (MAS), Sødring Motor Evaluation Scale (SMES), the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and Barthel Activities of Daily Living (ADL), and other clinical tests such as measures of affect, speech, swallowing, cognition, motor coordination, strength, sensation and autonomic function, as well as survival rates and hospitalization rates may be used to assess disease progression.

[0059] Following injury, disease, infection or other disruption of the nervous system, the brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves do not function properly due to any combination of gross destruction, apoptosis, disrupted pathways and synapses, inflammation, altered chemical environment, changes in cell metabolism and changes in cellular transcription and translation. As used herein, the term "neurorecovery" is used to refer to the process by which the nervous system restores its functioning towards a normal state. This process may occur by correction, circumvention, reversal or elimination of any of the causes noted above.

[0060] Furthermore, it is now believed that significant neurorecovery can occur through a process known as 'plasticity' whereby the nervous system forms new connections to compensate or adapt to other changes. Injuries of the CNS cause disruption of local and long-range connections resulting in disrupted function and disability. Plasticity is an event where new connections are formed between existing neurons. Plasticity has been shown to be a mechanism of neurorecovery in CNS systems including the visual system (Pizzorusso et al.,) and the spinal cord (Fawcett JW (2009) Brain 132:1417-1418.). In plasticity, new synapses are formed or existing synapses are strengthened, weakened or removed to allow existing structures and systems to compensate for those that have been destroyed or disrupted in the injury. Other forms of plasticity may include altering the neurochemistry of existing cells to changes the direct synaptic signaling and paracrine signaling. Plasticity may also take the form of altering receptor levels to make neurons and other cells more or less sensitive to direct synaptic or paracrine signaling. These processes are well accepted as mechanism of learning and memory.

[0061] The discussion of documents, acts, materials, devices, articles and the like is included in this specification solely for the purpose of providing a context for the present invention. It is not suggested or represented that any or all of these matters formed part of the prior art base or were common general knowledge in the field relevant to the present invention before the priority date of each claim of this application.

[0062] The following Examples will assist those skilled in the art to better understand the invention and its principles and advantages. It is intended that these Examples be illustrative of the invention and not limit the scope thereof.

EXAMPLES


Example 1: Materials and Methods:


Animal Preparation:



[0063] Fifty (50), adult, male Sprague-Dawley were used for the study (10 extra animals were ordered). All rats were housed and handled for behavioral assessment for seven (7) days prior to surgery for acclimation purposes. At the end of the handling period, rats were randomized and assigned to different groups. Rats were given a unique identification number by tail marking. Ten extra rats were also handled.

Surgical Preparation:


Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion (MCAO), Tamura Model:



[0064] This surgical injury model in the rat is a well accepted model of stroke in the field (Tamura et al, 1981, J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1(1):53-60; Tamura et al, 1981, J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1(1):61-9). Focal cerebral infarcts were made by permanent occlusion of the proximal right middle cerebral artery (MCA) using a modification of the method of Tamura et al. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (300-400 g at the time of surgery) were anesthetized with 2-3% halothane in the mixture of N2O:O2 (2:1), and were maintained with 1-1.5 % halothane in the mixture of N2O:O2 (2:1). The temporalis muscle was bisected and reflected through an incision made midway between the eye and the eardrum canal. The proximal MCA was exposed through a subtemporal craniectomy without removing the zygomatic arch and without transecting the facial nerve. The artery was then occluded by microbipolar coagulation from just proximal to the olfactory tract to the inferior cerebral vein, and was transected. Body temperature was maintained at 37.5°C ± 0.5°C throughout the entire procedure. Cefazolin (40 mg/kg; Baxter, Lot 06014.1, Exp. Jan 2009) was given intraperitoneally(i.p.) one day before MCAO and just after MCAO to prevent infections. Burprenorphine (NDC 12496-0757-1, Lot # 700Y02, exp: Jan 1, 2010) s.c. (0.05-0.1 mg/kg) was given before the MCAO surgery as analgesia.

Compound Preparation and Dosing:


GGF2 and NRG-1 (NRG-EGF):



[0065] Stock solutions were prepared at Acorda Therapeutics and stored at 0-5° C. Doses were made up as described below:
Cloning, expression and purification of NRG-1 [NRGlb2 EGF domain (156Q)]

[0066] DNA: NRG1b2 egf domain was cloned from human brain cDNA and cloned into pet 15b vector (Novagen cat # 69661-3) using Nde1 and BamH1 restriction sites. The resulting protein is a 6.92 kda + ∼3kDa His tag (= 9.35 kDa) .

DNA sequence of NRG1b2 egf pet 15 clone



[0067] The underlined sequences are the cloning sites (Nde1 and BamH1)



[0068] The final translated protein from pet15b vector is shown below. The egf domain is underlined.

Theoretical pI/Mw: 7.69 / 9349.58

Protein expression



[0069] The clone was transformed into B121 cells for protein expression using the Overnight Express Autoinduction System (Novagen) in LB media at 25°C for 24 hours. Expression is primarily in insoluble inclusion bodies.

[0070] Protein Refolding: Adapted from Novagen Protein Refolding Kit, 70123-3.

[0071] Protein Purification: Protein is loaded onto an anion exchange column DEAE at 2.5ml/min. The NRG-1 fragment remains in the flow through, whereas the contaminants bind and elute at a higher salt. The loading and washing buffer is 50mM Tris pH7.9 and elution buffer is 50mM Tris pH7.9 with 1M NaCl. The flow through is pooled and concentrated with Centriprep YM-3 from Millipore.

[0072] Western blotting: Protein expression is assessed by western blotting. Resulting band runs at around 10kD.

[0073] A 4-20% criterion gel (Biorad) was used for protein resolution followed by transfer onto Protran nitrocellulose paper (0.1 µm pore size from Schliecher and Schull). The blot is blocked in 5% milk in TBS-T (0.1%). Primary antibody (Anti EGF Human NRG1-alpha/HRG1-alpha Affinity Purified Polyclonal Ab Cat # AF-296-NA from R&D systems) 1:1000 dilution in 5% milk in TBS-T- 1 hour at RT (also works at 4°C overnight). Rabbit anti goat HRP secondary antibody was used at 1:10,000 dilution in 5% milk in TBS-T for 1 hour at RT. All washes were performed in TBS-T.

Purification Protocol for NRG-1



[0074] The cultures are grown at 25°C in Overnight Express Autoinduction System 1 from Novagen (cat# 71300-4). There is very little soluble NRG-1 present. The culture is spun down and the pellets are extracted, solubilized and re-folded to acquire the NRG-1 before purification can take place.

Materials for extraction, solubilization and re-folding:



[0075] 

10X Wash Buffer: 200mM Tris-HCl, pH 7.5, 100mM EDTA, 10% Triton X-100

10X Solubilization Buffer: 500mM CAPS, pH 11.0

50X Dialysis Buffer: 1M Tris-HCl, pH 8.5

30% N-laurylsarcosine - add as powder (Sigma 61739-5G)

1M DTT

Reduced glutathione (Novagen 3541)

Oxidized glutathione (Novagen 3542)


A. Cell Lysis and Preparation of Inclusion Bodies



[0076] 
  • Thaw and re-suspend cell pellet in 30mls 1X wash buffer. Mix as needed for full resuspension.
  • Add protease inhibitors (25ul of 10X per 50mls), DNase (200ul of 1mg/ml per 50ml) and MgCl2 (500ul of 1M per 50mls) to suspension.
  • Lyse the cells by sonication.
    1. a. Cool the cells on ice throughout this step.
    2. b. Using the square tip, sonicate for 30 seconds on level 6, 10 times until suspension become less viscous. Let suspension cool on ice for 60 seconds between each sonication. Keep volume no higher than 40mls in 50ml conical tube when sonicating.
  • When complete, transfer each suspension to 250ml angled neck centrifuge bottles for use with F-16/250 rotor.
  • Collect the inclusion bodies by centrifugation at 10000 x g for 12 minutes.
  • Remove the supernatant (save a sample for analysis of soluble protein) and thoroughly re-suspend the pellet in 30mls of 1X Wash Buffer.
  • Repeat centrifugation as in Step 4 and save the pellet.
  • Again, thoroughly re-suspend the pellet in 30mls of 1X Wash Buffer.
  • Collect the inclusion bodies by centrifugation at 10000 x g for 10 minutes. Decant the supernatant and remove the last traces of liquid by tapping the inverted tube on a paper towel.

B. Solubilization and Refolding



[0077] 
  • From the wet weight of inclusion bodies to be processed, calculate the amount of 1X Solubilization Buffer necessary to re-suspend the inclusion bodies at a concentration of 10-15mg/ml. If the calculated volume is greater than 250ml, use 250ml.
  • At room temperature, prepare the calculated volume of 1X Solubilization Buffer supplemented with 0.3% N-laurylsarcosine (up to 2% may be used if needed in further optimization) (300mg/100mL buffer) and 1mM DTT.
  • Add the calculated amount of 1X Solubilization Buffer from step 2 to the inclusion bodies and gently mix. Large debris can be broken up by repeated pipetting.
  • Incubate in refrigerator shaker at 25°C, 50-100rpm for 4-5 hours.
  • Clarify by centrifugation at 10000 x g for 10 minutes at room temperature.

C. Dialysis Protocol for Protein Refolding



[0078] 
  • Prepare the required volume of buffer for dialysis of solubilized protein. The dialysis should be performed with at least 2 buffer changes of greater than 50 times the volume of the sample.
  • Dilute the 50X Dialysis Buffer to 1X at the desired volume and supplement with 0.1mM DTT.
  • Dialyze for at least 4 hours at 4°C. Change the buffer and continue. Dialyze for an additional 4 or more hours.
  • Prepare additional dialysis buffer as determined in step 1, but omit DTT.
  • Continue the dialysis through two additional changes (min. 4hr each), with the dialysis buffer lacking DTT.

D. Redox Refolding Buffer to Promote Disulfide Bond Formation



[0079] 
  • Prepare a dialysis buffer containing 1mM reduced glutathione (1.2g/4L) and 0.2mM oxidized glutathione (0.48g/4L) in 1X Dialysis Buffer. The volume should be 25 times greater than the volume of the solubilized protein sample. Chill to 4°C.
  • Dialyze the refolded protein from step 1 overnight at 4°C.

Purification



[0080] All procedures are done at 4°C.

[0081] Chemicals:

Trizma Hydrochloride (Sigma T5941-500G)

Sodium Chloride 5M Solution (Sigma S6546-4L)

Sodium Hydroxide 10N (JT Baker 5674-02)


E. Purification on the DEAE HiPrep 16/10 Anion Column- 20mls (GE Healthcare)



[0082] 

Buffer A: 50mM Tris-HCL pH8.0

Buffer B: 50mM Tris-HCL with 1M NaCl pH 8.0

Equilibration of column: Buffer A- 5CV, Buffer B- 5CV, Buffer A- 10CV

  • Load 50ml of sample per run on 20ml column at 2.0ml/min (NRG-1) is in the flow through).
  • Wash 20ml column with 5CV of buffer A
    20ml column with gradient to 100% B with 5CV. This is to elute off contaminants.
  • Clean with 10CV of 100% Buffer B.
  • Equilibrate with 15CV of Buffer A
  • Analyze fractions with a SDS-page silver stain
  • Pool fractions with NRG-1 (10kDa)


F. Concentration of NRG-1



[0083] 
  • Concentrate with Millipore Centriprep 3000 MWCO 15ml concentrator (Ultracel YM-3, 4320)
  • Use Modified Lowry Protein Assay to determine concentration.

G. His-Tag Removal



[0084] Removal of the His-Tag is done with A Thrombin Cleavage Capture Kit from Novagen (Cat# 69022-3). Based on previous testing the best conditions are room temp for 4 hours with Thrombin at 0.005U of enzyme per µl for every 10µg of NRG-1 protein. After four hours of incubation, add 16µl of Streptavidin Agarose slurry per unit of Thrombin enzyme. Rock sample for 30 min at room temp. Recover the NRG-1 through spin-filtration or sterile filtering (depending on volume). Complete cleavage is determined with an EGF and Anti-His western.

H. Storage in final buffer



[0085] Stored in 1 X PBS with 0.2% BSA at 4°C.

Expression and Purification of GGF2



[0086] For the cloning and background information for GGF2, see USPN 5,530,109. The cell line is described in USPN 6,051,401.

[0087] CHO-(Alpha2HSG)-GGF cell line: This cell line was designed to produce sufficient quantities of fetuin (human alpha2HSG) to support high production rates of rhGGF2 in serum free conditions.

[0088] Cho (dhfr-) cells were transfected with the expression vector shown below (pSV-AHSG). Stable cells were grown under ampicillin pressure. The cell line was designated (dhfr-/α2HSGP). The dhfr- /α2HSGP cells were then transfected with the pCMGGF2 vector shown below containing the coding sequence for human GGF2 using the cationic lipid DMRIE-C reagent (Life Technologies #10459-014).



[0089] Stable and high producing cell lines were derived under standard protocols using methotrexate (100 nM, 200 nM, 400 nM, 1 µM) at 4-6 weeks intervals. The cells were gradually weaned from serum containing media. Clones were isolated by standard limiting dilution methodologies. Details of the media requirements are found in the above mentioned reports.

[0090] To enhance transcription, the GGF2 coding sequence was placed after the EBV BMLF-1 intervening sequence (MIS). See figures below.

MIS Sequence



[0091] GGF2 coding sequence -





[0092] GGF2 Protein Sequence -



[0093] GGF2 production: One vial of GGF2 at 2.2x106 cells/mL was thawed into 100mls of Acorda Medium 1 (see Table 2) and expanded until reaching sufficient numbers to seed production vessels. Cells were inoculated into the production media Acorda Medium 2 (see Table 3) at 1.0 x 105 cells/mL in two liter vented roller bottles. Roller bottles are maintained at 37°C for 5 days and then reduced to 27°C for 26 days. The roller bottles are monitored for cell count and general appearance but they are not fed. Once viability is below 10% the cells are spun out and conditioned media harvested and sterile filtered.
Table 2: Medium 1
ItemVendorCatalog NumberFinal concentration
CD-CHO Invitrogen 10743-029 -remove 50ml, then add components below
FeSO4.EDTA Sigma F-0518 1x (10 ml/L)
L-Glutamine Cellgro 25-005-CI 4 mM (20 ml/L)
Recombinant Human Insulin Sigma I-9278 290 U/L (1 ml/L)
Non-essential amino acid Cellgro 25-025-CI 1x (10 ml/L)
Peptone Type 4 Soybean-HySoy Sigma P0521 Powder - Made 20X in CD-CHO (50ml/L)
Gentamicin Invitrogen 15750-078 100µg (2ml/L)
Table 3: Medium 2
ItemVendorCatalog NumberFinal concentration
CD-CHO Invitrogen 10743-029 50% (-50ml first)
HyQ SFX-CHO HyClone SH30187.02 50% (-50ml first)
FeSO4.EDTA Sigma F-0518 1x (10ml/L)
L-Glutamine Cellgro 25-005-CI 4 mM (20 ml/L)
Recombinant Human Insulin Sigma I-9278 290 U/L (1 ml/L)
Non-essential amino acid Cellgro 25-025-CI 1x (10 ml/L)
Peptone Type 4 Soybean-HySoy Sigma P0521 Powder - Made 20X in CD-CHO (50ml/L)
Gentamicin Invitrogen 15750-078 100µg (2ml/L)

Purification protocol for GGF2



[0094] All procedures are done at 4°C.

Chemicals:



[0095] 

Sodium Acetate

Glacial Acetic Acid (for pH adjustment)

10N NaOH (for pH adjustment)

NaCl

Sodium Sulfate

L-Arginine (JT Baker cat #: 2066-06)

Mannitol (JT Baker cat #: 2553-01)

Starting material: Conditioned media supernatant. Adjust pH to 6.5.


Step 1:



[0096] 
Capture- Cation Exchange Chromatography

HiPrep SP 16/10 (Amersham Biosciences)

Column equilibration: Buffer A - 5CV, buffer B - 5CV, buffer 15%B - 5CV

Buffer A: 20 mM NaAcetate, pH 6.0

Buffer B: 20 mM NaAcetate, pH 6.0, 1M NaCl


Load sample at 2ml/min with a continuous load overnight if possible. Binding is better with continuous loading.
Maximum capacity for a starting sample: 5 mg GGF2/ml media

Flow rate: 3ml/min

First wash: 15%B, 10CV

Second wash: 35% B, 10CV

GGF2 elution: 60%B, 8CV

Column wash: 100%B, 8CV

Buffers:CompositionConductivitYUse
15%B 20 mM NaAcetate, pH 6.0, 150 mM NaCl    
Preequilibration
      First wash
35%B 20 mM NaAcetate, pH 6.0, 350 mM NaCl   Second wash
60%B 20 mM NaAcetate, pH 6.0, 600 mM NaCl   GGF2 elution
100%B 20 mM NaAcetate, pH 6.0, 1000 mM NaCl 88 mS/cm Column wash

Step 2:



[0097] 

Refinement - Gel Filtration Chromatography

Sephacryl S200 26/60

Elution buffer: 20 mM NaAcetate, 100mM Sodium Sulfate, 1% mannitol, 10 mM L-Arginine, pH 6.5

Buffer conductivity:

Sample: SP GGF2 elution pool concentrated up to ∼ AU280 1.0 Flow rate: 1.3 ml/min

Peak elution: at ∼ 0.36CV from injection start


Step 3: DNA and endotoxin removal - filtration through Intercept Q membrane.



[0098] Preequilibration buffer: 20 mM NaAcetate, 100mM Sodium Sulfate, 1% Mannitol,
10 mM L-Arginine, pH 6.5
Collect flow through

Step 4: Final formulation and sample preparation



[0099] Add additional 90 mM L-Arginine to the sample

Concentrate

Sterile Filter



[0100] The vehicle/control article used herein is 0.2 % Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA), 0.1 M Sodium Phosphate, pH 7.6 or 0.1 M sodium phosphate, pH 7.6 as indicated.

Basic FGF:



[0101] The bFGF (PeproTech Inc., 100-18B, Lot 1206CY08 G2407) was reconstituted as directed by PeproTech to a stock solution of 0.1 mg/ml and stored at -20°C before use. On the day of the injection, 100 µg/ml of BSA (Roche Diagnostics, Lot 12403328 exp. Mar 31, 2008) solution was made as diluent, to make a final bFGF concentration of 20 µg/ml (1 µg/50ul). This material was only used in study 1.

[0102] Randomization and Blinding: Five animals were operated on per day. The investigator doing the surgery and behavioral assessments was blinded to treatment assignment of each animal (except the bFGF treated group) until all of the data were collected.

Behavioral Tests:



[0103] Sensorimotor functional activities were evaluated using forelimb and hindlimb placing, and body swing behavioral tests. These tests were performed one (1) day before surgery, one (1) day after surgery and at three (3), seven (7), fourteen (14) and twenty-one (21) days after MCAO.

1. Limb Placing



[0104] Limb placing tests were divided into both forelimb and hindlimb tests. For the forelimb placing test, the examiner held the rat close to a tabletop and scored the rat's ability to place the forelimb on the tabletop in response to whisker, visual, tactile, or proprioceptive stimulation. Similarly, for the hindlimb placing test, the examiner assessed the rat's ability to place the hindlimb on the tabletop in response to tactile and proprioceptive stimulation. Separate sub-scores were obtained for each mode of sensory input (halfpoint designations possible), and added to give total scores (for the forelimb placing test: 0 = normal, 12 = maximally impaired; for the hindlimb placing test: 0 = normal; 6 = maximally impaired).

2. Body Swing Test



[0105] The rat was held approximately one inch from the base of its tail. It was then elevated to an inch above a surface of a table. The rat was held in the vertical axis, defined as no more than 10° to either the left or the right side. A swing was recorded whenever the rat moved its head out of the vertical axis to either side. The rat must return to the verticalposition for the next swing to be counted. Thirty (30) total swings were counted. A normal rat typically has an equal number of swings to either side. Following focal ischemia, the rat tends to swing to the contralateral (left) side.

[0106] On all the days of the behavioral tests, animals were tested before drug administration. Time points are designated with the day of surgery (Day 0) as a reference.

Sacrifice and Infarct Volume:



[0107] Following behavioral evaluations at twenty one (21) days after MCAO, rats were deeply anesthetized with Ketamine (50-100 mg/kg) and Xylazine (5-10 mg/kg) mixture, intraperitoneally. Animals were perfused transcardially with normal saline (with heparin, 2 unit/ml) followed by 10% formalin. Brains were then removed and stored in 10% formalin. Fixed brains were then embedded with paraffin, and 5 micron coronal sections were cut using a microtome. Sections were then stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E). Seven sections (+4.7, +2.7, +0.7, -1.3, -3.3, -5.3 and -7.3, compared to bregma respectively) from each brain were photographed by a digital camera, and the infarct area on each slice was determined by NIH Image (Image J) using the "indirect method" (area of the intact contralateral [left] hemisphere - area of intact regions of the ipsilateral [right] hemisphere) to correct for brain edema . Infarct areas were then summed among slices and multiplied by slice thickness to give total infarct volume, which was expressed as a percentage of intact contralateral hemispheric volume.

Example 2: Effect Of GGF2 (an NRG-1) In Enhancing Neurological Recovery In A Model Of Permanent Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion (MCAO) In Rats - Treatment Initiated During The Acute Phase And Continuing Thereafter.


Effects of GGF2 and NRG-1: Functional recovery following MCA occlusion (MCAO) in rats



[0108] Study 1 Experimental groups (n=10):

NRG-1, 1.0 µg/kg, 1ml/kg intravenous; 1 hr after, & once per day (q24) for 10 days after MCAO

GGF2, 6.5 µg/kg, 1ml/kg intravenous; 1 hr after, & q24 for 10 days after MCAO

GGF2, 100 µg/kg, 1ml/kg intravenous; 1 hr after, & q24 for 10 days after MCAO

bFGF, intracisternal, 1 µg/50µl; Day 1 and Day 3 (positive control) after MCAO

Vehicle, 1 ml/kg intravenous; 1 hr after, & q24 for 10 days after MCAO (Vehicle = 0.2% BSA/0.1 M sodium phosphate pH 7.6)



[0109] All data are expressed as mean ± S.E.M. Behavioral and body weight data were analyzed by repeated measures of ANOVA (treatment X time), unless otherwise specified. Positive F-values for overall ANOVAs including all groups enabled pairwise ANOVAs between groups. Infarct volume data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA.

Results:


Forelimb Placing Test:



[0110] Recovery in the GGF2, 100 µg/kg group was superior to the vehicle group (p<0.001). Recovery in the bFGF group was superior to the vehicle group (p<0.05). There was no significant difference in recovery of the GGF2, 6.5 µg/kg or NRG, 1.0 µg/kg groups compared to the vehicle group. See Figure 2.

Hindlimb Placing Test:



[0111] Recovery in the bFGF and GGF2, 100 µg/kg group was significantly better than the vehicle group (p<0.001) on all behavioral testing days. Recovery in the GGF2, 6.5 µg/kg group and NRG, 1.0 µg/kg group was significantly improved compared to vehicle on behavioral testing Days 7 and 14 but this effect was not maintained to the 21 day end point. See Figure 3.

Body Swing Test:



[0112] Recovery in the bFGF group and GGF2, 100 µg/kg group was significantly improved compared to vehicle (p<0.05) at the behavioral testing Day 21 end point. There was no significant difference in recovery of the NRG, 1.0 µg/kg group, or the GGF2, 6.5 µg/kg group compared to the vehicle group. See Figure 4.

Weight Changes:



[0113] There were no significant differences among the groups.

[0114] Infarct Volume: There were no significant differences among the groups. See Table 1 above.

Summary:



[0115] These results demonstrate that GGF2 is acting in a dose responsive manner and promotes functional recovery in this model of permanent stroke. The hindlimb data using the lower dose of neuregulin shows that continued treatment can lead to continued improvements.

Example 3: Effect of Timing of Administration (post-injury delay) of dosing of GGF2 in enhancing neurological recovery in a permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in rats including chronic period dosing.


Effects of GGF2 on functional recovery following MCAO in rats


Experimental groups (n=10):



[0116] 

GGF2, 0.1 mg/kg, (1 ml/kg) intravenous; 10 daily injections, starting at Day 1 after MCAO

GGF2, 0.1 mg/kg, (1 ml/kg) intravenous; 10 daily injections, starting at Day 3 after MCAO

GGF2, 0.1 mg/kg, (1 ml/kg) intravenous; 10 daily injections, starting at Day 7 after MCAO

Vehicle, 1 ml/kg intravenous; 10 daily injections, starting at Day 1 after MCAO

(Vehicle = 0.1 M sodium phosphate pH 7.6)



[0117] Animals start to receive GGF2 or vehicle intravenously at Day 1, Day 3 or Day 7 for 10 days after MCAO. All solutions were made fresh every day.

Results:


Forelimb placing:



[0118] Recovery in the Day 1 GGF2 treatment group significantly improved compared to the vehicle group at all time points of testing after treatment (on Day 3 (p<0.0001), on Day 7 (p<0.005), on Day 14 (p< 0.0001) and on Day 21 (p<0.0001)). The Day 3 GGF2 treatment group demonstrated significant improvements compared to vehicle on day 7 (p<0.05) and day 21 (p<0.05) The Day 7 GGF2 treatment group demonstrated a clear deflection in the slope of recovery compared to vehicle from Day 7 (start of treatment) to Day 14, this difference became significant by Day 21 (p<0.05). These data indicated that treatment as late as three and even 7 days after injury can produce significant improvements in neurological function. More prolonged treatment may be beneficial and result in greater and more sustained effects. See Figure 5A.

Hindlimb placing:



[0119] Recovery in the Day 1 GGF2 treatment group was significantly improved compared to the vehicle group at all time points of testing after treatment (on Day 3 (p<0.05) and on Days 7, 14 and 21 (p<0.0001)). The Day 3 GGF2 treatment group demonstrated improvements that were significantly better than vehicle on testing Day 7 (p<0.001) and Day 14 (p<0.05, day after treatment ended), and were trending toward significance on Day 21 (p<0.065). The Day 7 GGF2 treatment group was significantly improved compared to vehicle at the testing Day 21 end point of the study (p<0.05). Figure 5B.

[0120] Body swing: Recovery in the Day 1 GGF2 treatment group was significantly better than the vehicle group (p<0.001). There was a trend toward recovery in the Day 3 GGF2 group and Day 7 GGF2 group, compared to the vehicle group Figure 5C.

[0121] There were no significant differences in body weights between the groups.

[0122] Infarct Volume: There were no significant differences among all groups as shown in Table 4.
Table 4:
Group% Infarct volume
Day 1 Vehicle 32.89 ± 2.63
GGF2 Day 1 27.62 ± 2.48
GGF2 Day 3 33.31 ± 3.84
GGF2 Day 7 27.30 ± 2.87

Summary:



[0123] By the Day 21 study endpoint it was found that treatment initiated on Day 1, Day 3 or Day 7 post MCAO resulted in significant improvements in forelimb function compared to vehicle treated animals. Treatment initiated on Day 1, Day 3 or Day 7 post MCAO resulted in significant improvements in hindlimb function compared to vehicle treatment during specific behavioral testing points that correlated with treatment time, indicating that continued treatment may prove beneficial Functional recovery with interventions given at this later time points post injury eliminates the possibility that the effect is due to acute neuroprotection. Indeed, this data coupled with the lack of a significant change in infarct volume demonstrates that the improvements are due to the promotion of neurorecovery with GGF2 treatment. This shows that a long temporal window exists (post-acute and post-semi acute) during which time GGF2 may be administered as an effective therapeutic for the chronic phase of stroke

[0124] It is, noteworthy that the significant (under ANOVA statistics) improvements observed following GGF2 administration at 3 and 7 days post-MCAO represent a dramatic expansion in the therapeutic window offered by previously available strategies for treatment of acute phase stroke. For the first time in the art, the data presented herein demonstrated that GGF2 administration is efficacious even during the chronic phase of stroke. The data presented herein further suggest that GGF2 contributes to neurorecovery following neuroinjury.

Example 4: Treatment of Ischemic Stroke



[0125] A patient presents to a medical facility with signs and symptoms of an ischemic stroke. The patient is revascularized with tPA or other therapy to restore blood flow. Although blood flow has been restored, some level of brain injury has occurred. Three days after the injury the patient is assessed neurologically and shown to have measurable sensory and/or motor deficits. Beginning on day four, after day two and after day 3, this patient would is treated with neuregulin at a dose between 0.01 and 1.0 mg/kg per dose, intravenously for 10 days to 3 months. The patient successfully regains sensory and motor function without the concomitant use of Occupational or Physical Therapy. This recovery is better than would have been clinically predicted without neuregulin therapy. This recovery is better than would have been clinically predicted without use of Occupational or Physical Therapy.

Example 5: Treatment Of Stroke And Resulting Paralysis of the Right Hand



[0126] A patient presents to the Emergency Department with paralysis of the right hand. Following evaluation and imaging it is determined that the patient has suffered an ischemic stroke. The patient receives tPA according to approved methods , and blood flow is restored through the thrombosis. However, a week after tPA treatment, the patient has residual paralysis of the right hand as measured by standard neurological measures of hand motor activity. This patient is treated with neuregulin (0.01 to 1.0 mg/kg, IV) once per week for 4 weeks. Improvement in hand function is measured periodically by a neurologist or other physician with standard neurological testing including dynamometer and other strength testing. The patient successfully regains sensory and motor function in their right hand without the concomitant use of Occupational or Physical Therapy. This recovery is better than would have been clinically predicted without neuregulin therapy. This recovery is better than would have been clinically predicted without use of Occupational or Physical Therapy

Example 6: Treatment of Ischemic Stroke



[0127] A patient presents to a medical facility with signs and symptoms of an ischemic stroke. They are found to have paralysis of their left side. The patient does not arrive in time for revascularization therapy with. Upon clinical evaluation it is found that some brain injury has occurred. Three days after the injury the patient is assessed neurologically and shown to have measurable sensory and motor deficits. This patient is treated with neuregulin at a dose between 0.01 and 1.0 mg/kg per dose, intravenously each day for four weeks; thereafter they receive weekly doses for six months. They also receive physical therapy. Improvement is noticed as early as the second week of treatment; recovery continues throughout the period of neuregulin therapy. The patient successfully regains sensory and motor function of their left side. This recovery is seen as excellent; and is much better than would have been clinically predicted without with the use of Physical Therapy alone.

Example 7:. Treatment of Ischemic Stroke



[0128] A patient presents to the Emergency Department with paralysis of the left hand. The patient reports that the problem with their hand began "over a week ago". Following evaluation and imaging it is determined that the patient has suffered an ischemic stroke. The patient does not receive tPA. Upon neurological exam it is found that The patient has residual paralysis of the left hand as measured by standard neurological measures of hand motor activity; the patient has a sensory deficit as well. The patient refuses to participate in physical or occupational therapy. This patient treated with neuregulin (0.01 to 1.0 mg/kg, IV) once per week for 12 weeks. Improvement in hand function is measured periodically by a neurologist or other physician with the standard neurological testing including dynamometer and other strength testing. Improvement is noticed as early as the second week of treatment; recovery continues throughout the period of neuregulin therapy. The patient successfully regains sensory and motor function in their left hand without the concomitant use of Occupational or Physical Therapy. This recovery is better than would have been clinically predicted without neuregulin therapy. This recovery is better than would have been clinically predicted without use of Occupational or Physical Therapy.

Example 8: Traumatic brain injury



[0129] A patient presents to a medical facility following a traumatic event with signs and symptoms of a head injury and resultant brain injury. Some level of brain injury has occurred as assessed by imaging and neurological testing including Glasgow Coma Scale and more detailed neurocognitive testing . Five days after the injury, the patient is assessed neurologically and shown to have measurable sensory and motor deficits. This patient is treated with neuregulin at a dose between 0.01 and 1.0 mg/kg per dose, intravenously for 3 months. Initially the patient is not willing to participate in physical therapy. Improvement in brain function is noticed as early as the first week of treatment; recovery continues throughout the period of neuregulin therapy. This recovery is better than would have been clinically predicted without neuregulin therapy. Beginning at three months the patient begins to receive neuregulin once per week, and they also begin to receive physical therapy. The concomitant therapies continue for up until one year from the day of original injury. On the anniversary of the patient's injury their recover is extraordinary. Clinically is it far better than would have been anticipated in the absence of any therapy and is also better than would have been expected from the use of physical therapy.

Example 9: Treatment of Cerebral hemorrhage:



[0130] A patient presents to a medical facility with signs and symptoms consistent with an ischemic stroke or cerebral hemorrhage. The patient is stabilized. Upon neurological assessment it is found that some level of brain injury has occurred. One week after the injury the patient is again assessed neurologically and shown to have measurable sensory and/or motor deficits. This patient is treated with neuregulin at a dose between 0.01 and 1.0 mg/kg daily, intravenously for 10 days, followed by administration of this dose weekly for 2 months, at which point all treatment is discontinued. Improvement in brain function is noticed as early as the first week of treatment; recovery continues throughout the period of neuregulin therapy. Upon cessation of neuregulin therapy the patients recover is deemed clinically excellent. The patient returns for evaluation six months and then 12 months from the date of the initial injury; at each assessment the patient's recovery is deemed clinically excellent.

Example 10: NRG Treatment of Injury including Treatment in Semi-Acute and Chronic Periods



[0131] For a comprehensive trial, inclusion criteria include: adults, male and female, with clinical evidence of neuronjury.

Indications explored:



[0132] 

Ischemic stroke with thrombolytics,

Ischemic stroke without thrombolytics,

Hemorrhagic stroke,

Closed head traumatic brain injury,

Penetrating traumatic brain injury


Dose Ranges explored:



[0133] 0.001 mg/kg to 10.0 mg/kg per dose

Dose Frequencies explored:



[0134] 

daily

on alternate days

every fourth day

once per week

once every other week

once per month



[0135] Mixed Periodicity Regimens:
  • daily for one or two weeks and then weekly, biweekly, or monthly for the remainder of the study
  • on alternate days for one or two weeks and then weekly, biweekly or monthly thereafter

Initiation of treatment explored:



[0136] As soon as possible after injury
Within 6, 12, 24 and 48 hours after injury
After 72 hours following injury
7, 14, 30, 60, 90, 120 days following injury

[0137] Treatment Duration explored:

treatment for 1, 2, 4, 10, 30 weeks.

treatment for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 months


Function explored:



[0138] 

hand motor function,

face motor function,

speech

cognitive function

survival

time to return to work



[0139] Recovery is measured by standard neurological measures.

[0140] Adverse Events are mild and well-tolerated.

[0141] Results: Patients treated with neuregulin show statistically greater improvement in mental, sensory or muscle function as measured by methodologies known in the art, as compared to those patients treated with placebo.

[0142] In alternative embodiments combinations less than all of the above parameters are explored.

Example 11: NRG Treatment of Ischemic Stroke with unilateral hand weakness and/or paralysis (without thrombolysis):



[0143] Inclusion criteria include: adults, male and female, evidence of stroke based on loss of consciousness , disorientation, speech difficulty, facial or limb paralysis. Ischemic stroke confirmed with radiographic imaging.

[0144] Patients are selected for those with unilateral hand weakness and/or paralysis that are not candidates for tPA (or other thrombolytic) or who did not previously receive tPA for any reason. Consents are obtained from the patients and/or someone with authority to sign for the patients.

[0145] Patients are enrolled and randomized to received neuregulin or placebo starting as soon as they present to a medical facility including hospital or physician's office, diagnosis, imaging is obtained.

[0146] For this trial, treatment is initiated between 1 hour and 7 days after injury. Treatment is continued for 3 months with dosing on alternate days for 1 week and then weekly for the remainder of the treatment period. Patients are dosed with 0.0001 to 1.0 mg per kg, IV, IM or SC.

[0147] Recovery is measured by standard neurological measures of hand motor activity every other week for the duration of the study.

[0148] Adverse Events are mild and well-tolerated.

[0149] Results: Patients treated with neuregulin show statistically greater improvement in hand function as measured by methodologies known in the art, as compared to those patients treated with placebo.

Example 12: NRG Treatment of Unilateral Facial Paralysis Without Thrombolytics



[0150] Patients are selected for those with unilateral facial paralysis who did not or cannot receive thrombolytics. Function is assessed by methodologies known in the art, on alternate weeks during the 3 month dosing period. Consents are obtained from the patients and/or someone with authority to sign for the patients.

[0151] Patients are enrolled and randomized to received neuregulin or placebo. Treatment is initiated between 1 hour and 7 days after injury. Treatment is continued for 3 months with dosing on alternate days for 1 week and then weekly for the remainder of the treatment period. Patients are dosed with 0.0001 to 1.0 mg per kg, IV, IM or SC.

[0152] Adverse Events are mild and well-tolerated.

[0153] Results: Patients treated with neuregulin show statistically greater improvement in facial movement than those patients treated with placebo.

Example 13: NRG Treatment of Aphasia or Dysarthria Without Thrombolytics.



[0154] Patients are selected for those with aphasia or dysarthria who did not or cannot receive thrombolytics. Function is assessed by methodologies known in the art on alternate weeks during the 3 month dosing period. Consents are obtained from the patients and/or someone with authority to sign for the patients.

[0155] Patients are enrolled and randomized to received neuregulin or placebo.

[0156] Treatment is initiated between 1 hour and 7 days after injury. Treatment is continued for 3 months with dosing on alternate days for 1 week and then weekly for the remainder of the treatment period. Patients are dosed with 0.0001 to 1.0 mg per kg, IV, IM or SC.

[0157] Adverse Events are mild and well-tolerated.

[0158] Results: Patients treated with neuregulin show statistically greater improvement in speech capability than those patients treated with placebo.

Example 14: NRG Treatment of Ischemic stroke (with thrombolysis):



[0159] Inclusion criteria include: adults, male and female, evidence of stroke based on loss of consciousness , disorientation, speech difficulty, facial or limb paralysis. Ischemic stroke is confirmed with radiographic imaging.

[0160] Patients are selected for those with unilateral hand weakness and/or paralysis that and are successfully treated with tPA or other thrombolytic. Consents are obtained from the patients and/or someone with authority to sign for the patients

[0161] Patients are enrolled and randomized to receive neuregulin or placebo starting as soon as they present to a medical facility, diagnosis, and imaging is completed.

[0162] Treatment is initiated between 1 hour and 7 days after injury. Treatment is continued for 3 months with dosing on alternate days for 1 week and then weekly for the remainder of the treatment period. Patients are dosed with 0.0001 to 1.0 mg per kg, IV, IM or SC.

[0163] Recovery is measured by standard neurological measures of hand motor activity every other week for the duration of the study.

[0164] Adverse Events are generally mild and well tolerated.

[0165] Results: Patients treated with neuregulin show statistically greater improvement in hand function as measured by methodologies known in the art as compared to those patients treated with placebo.

Example 15: NRG Treatment of Patients with Unilateral Facial Paralysis (With Thrombolytics).



[0166] Inclusion criteria include: adults, male and female, evidence of stroke based on loss of consciousness , disorientation, speech difficulty, facial or limb paralysis. Ischemic stroke is confirmed with radiographic imaging. Patients are selected for those with aphasia or dysarthria and did receive thrombolytics.

[0167] Treatment is initiated between 1 hour and 7 days after injury. Treatment is continued for 3 months with dosing on alternate days for 1 week and then weekly for the remainder of the treatment period. Patients are dosed with 0.0001 to 1.0 mg per kg, IV, IM or SC.

[0168] Function is assessed by methodologies known in the art, on alternate weeks during the 3 month dosing period.

[0169] Adverse Events are mild and well-tolerated.

[0170] Results: Patients treated with neuregulin show statistically greater improvement in speech capability than those patients treated with placebo.

Example 16: NRG Treatment of Patients with Traumatic brain injury



[0171] Inclusion criteria include: adults, male and female, evidence of traumatic brain injury with loss of consciousness, disorientation, speech difficulty, facial or limb paralysis with evidence or history of trauma. Patients with evidence of penetrating injury are excluded. Consents are obtained from the patients and/or someone with authority to sign for the patients.

[0172] Patients are enrolled and randomized to received neuregulin or placebo starting as soon as they present to a medical facility including hospital or physician's office, diagnosis, imaging and consent is obtained.

[0173] For this trial treatment is initiated between 1 hour and 7 days after injury. Treatment is continued for 3 months with dosing on alternate days for 1 week and then weekly for the remainder of the treatment period. Patients are dosed with 0.0001 to 1.0 mg per kg, IV, IM or SC.

[0174] Functional recovery is assessed by methodologies known in the art.

[0175] Adverse Events are mild and well-tolerated.

[0176] Results: Patients treated with neuregulin show statistically greater improvement than those patients treated with placebo.

Example 17: NRG Treatment Of Patients With Penetrating Brain Injury



[0177] Inclusion criteria include: adults, male and female, evidence of traumatic brain injury with loss of consciousness, disorientation, speech difficulty, facial or limb paralysis with evidence or history of trauma. Consents are obtained from the patients and/or someone with authority to sign for the patients.

[0178] Patients are stabilized surgically or through other measures. Diagnosis and imaging are obtained.

[0179] Patients are enrolled and randomized to receive neuregulin or placebo starting as soon as they present to a medical facility including hospital or physicians office.

[0180] Treatment is initiated between 1 hour and 7 days after injury. Treatment is continued for 3 months with dosing on alternate days for 1 week and then weekly for the remainder of the treatment period. Patients are dosed with 0.0001 to 1.0 mg per kg, IV, IM or SC.

[0181] Functional recovery is assessed by methodologies known in the art.

[0182] Adverse Events are mild and well-tolerated.

[0183] Results: Patients treated with neuregulin show statistically greater improvement in speech capability than those patients treated with placebo.

Example 18: NRG Treatment of Patients with Hemorrhagic Stroke:



[0184] Inclusion criteria include: adults, male and female, evidence of stroke based on loss of consciousness , disorientation, speech difficulty, facial or limb paralysis. Hemorrhagic stroke confirmed with radiographic imaging. Consents are obtained from the patients and/or someone with authority to sign for the patients.

[0185] Patients are selected for those with unilateral hand weakness

[0186] Patients are enrolled and randomized to received neuregulin or placebo starting as soon as they present to a medical facility including hospital or physician's office, diagnosis, imaging and consent is obtained.

[0187] Treatment is initiated between 1 hour and 7 days after injury. Treatment is continued for 3 months with dosing on alternate days for 1 week and then weekly for the remainder of the treatment period. Patients are dosed with 0.0001 to 1.0 mg per kg, IV, IM or SC.

[0188] Recovery is measured by standard neurological measures of hand motor activity every other week for the duration of the study.

[0189] Adverse Events are mild and well-tolerated.

[0190] Results: Patients treated with neuregulin show statistically greater improvement in hand function as measured by methodologies known in the art as compared to those patients treated with placebo.

Example 19 - Kits:



[0191] Kits comprise an exemplary embodiment of the disclosure. The kit can comprise an outer receptacle or container configured to receive one or more inner receptacles/containers, utensils and/or instructions. The utensil can comprise item(s) to administer the drug, such as a patch, inhalation apparatus, syringe or needle. A composition of the disclosure can be comprised within a receptacle of the disclosure. A receptacle of the disclosure can contain sufficient quantity of a composition to be useful for multiple doses, or may be in unit or single dose form. Kits generally comprise instructions for administration. Any mode of administration set forth or supported herein can constitute some portion of the instructions. In one embodiment of the disclosure the instructions indicate that the composition is to be taken one or more than one times during the semi-acute post-injury period. In one embodiment of the disclosure the instructions indicate that the composition is to be taken one or more than one times during the chronic post-injury period. The instructions may be affixed to any container/receptacle. Alternatively, the instructions can be printed on or embossed in or formed as a component of a receptacle.


Claims

1. A polypeptide comprising an epidermal growth factor-like (EGF-like) domain for use in the treatment of a neuroinjury in a mammal resulting from a stroke,
wherein the polypeptide comprising the epidermal growth factor-like (EGF-like) domain is administered following the neuroinjury in the mammal, and
wherein administration is initiated within six hours after the neuroinjury, and
wherein the administration is continued for a time period of more than six hours post injury.
 
2. The polypeptide for use of claim 1, wherein administration is continued for more than 48 hours post injury.
 
3. The polypeptide for use of claim 1, wherein administration is continued for more than 72 hours post injury.
 
4. The polypeptide for use of claim 1 wherein the EGF-like domain is encoded by the neuregulin (NRG)-I gene, (NRG)-2 gene, (NRG)-3 gene, (NRG)-4 gene.
 
5. The polypeptide for use of claim 1, wherein said polypeptide is glial growth factor 2 (GGF2).
 
6. The polypeptide for use of claim 1, wherein said mammal is a human.
 
7. The polypeptide for use of claim 1, wherein the stroke is an ischemic stroke or a hemorrhagic stroke.
 
8. The polypeptide for use of claim 1, wherein the polypeptide is administered at a dose level in the range of 0.01-1mg/kg bodyweight.
 
9. Use of a polypeptide comprising an epidermal growth factor-like (EGF-like) domain in the manufacture of a medicament for the treatment of a neuroinjury in a mammal resulting from a stroke,
wherein the polypeptide comprising the EGF-like domain is administered following neuroinjury in the mammal, and
wherein administration is initiated within six hours after the neuroinjury, and
wherein the administration is continued for a time period of more than six hours post injury.
 


Ansprüche

1. Polypeptid, umfassend eine epidermaler-Wachstumsfaktor-ähnliche (EGF-ähnliche) Domäne für die Verwendung bei der Behandlung einer Nervenschädigung bei einem Säugetier, die aus einem Schlaganfall resultiert, wobei das Polypeptid, das die epidermaler-Wachstumsfaktor-ähnliche (EGF-ähnliche) Domäne umfasst, nach der Nervenschädigung bei dem Säugetier verabreicht wird; und
wobei die Verabreichung innerhalb von sechs Stunden nach der Nervenschädigung begonnen wird; und
wobei die Verabreichung für einen Zeitraum von mehr als sechs Stunden nach der Schädigung fortgesetzt wird.
 
2. Polypeptid zur Verwendung nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Verabreichung für mehr als 48 Stunden nach der Schädigung fortgesetzt wird.
 
3. Polypeptid zur Verwendung nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Verabreichung für mehr als 72 Stunden nach der Schädigung fortgesetzt wird.
 
4. Polypeptid zur Verwendung nach Anspruch 1, wobei die EGF-ähnliche Domäne durch das Neuregulin-(NRG)-1-Gen, (NRG)-2-Gen, (NRG)-3-Gen oder (NRG)-4-Gen kodiert wird.
 
5. Polypeptid zur Verwendung nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Polypeptid der Glia-Wachstumsfaktor 2 (GGF2) ist.
 
6. Polypeptid zur Verwendung nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Säugetier ein Mensch ist.
 
7. Polypeptid zur Verwendung nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Schlaganfall ein ischämischer Schlaganfall oder ein hämorrhagischer Schlaganfall ist.
 
8. Polypeptid zur Verwendung nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Polypeptid in einem Dosisniveau im Bereich von 0,01 bis 1 mg/kg Körpergewicht verabreicht wird.
 
9. Verwendung eines Polypeptids, umfassend eine epidermaler-Wachstumsfaktor-ähnliche (EGF-ähnliche) Domäne zur Herstellung eines Medikaments zur Behandlung einer Nervenschädigung bei einem Säugetier, die aus einem Schlaganfall resultiert,
wobei das Polypeptid, das die epidermaler-Wachstumsfaktor-ähnliche (EGF-ähnliche) Domäne umfasst, nach der Nervenschädigung bei dem Säugetier verabreicht wird; und
wobei die Verabreichung innerhalb von sechs Stunden nach der Nervenschädigung begonnen wird; und
wobei die Verabreichung für einen Zeitraum von mehr als sechs Stunden nach der Schädigung fortgesetzt wird.
 


Revendications

1. Un polypeptide comprenant un domaine analogue au facteur de croissance épidermique (EGF-like) pour utilisation dans le traitement d'une lésion neurologique chez un mammifère résultant d'un accident vasculaire cérébral,
dans lequel le polypeptide comprenant le domaine analogue au facteur de croissance épidermique (EGF-like) est administré suite à la lésion neurologique chez le mammifère, et
dans lequel l'administration est initiée dans les six heures suivant la lésion neurologique, et
dans lequel l'administration est poursuivie pendant une période de temps de plus de six heures après la lésion.
 
2. Le polypeptide pour utilisation selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'administration est poursuivie pendant plus de 48 heures après la lésion.
 
3. Le polypeptide pour utilisation selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'administration est poursuivie pendant plus de 72 heures après la lésion.
 
4. Le polypeptide pour utilisation selon la revendication 1 dans lequel le domaine EGF-like est codé par le gène (NRG)-1, le gène (NRG)-2, le gène (NRG)-3, le gène (NRG)-4 de neuréguline.
 
5. Le polypeptide pour utilisation selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ledit polypeptide est le facteur de croissance glial 2 (GGF2).
 
6. Le polypeptide pour utilisation selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ledit mammifère est un humain.
 
7. Le polypeptide pour utilisation selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'accident vasculaire cérébral est un accident vasculaire cérébral ischémique ou un accident vasculaire cérébral hémorragique.
 
8. Le polypeptide pour utilisation selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le polypeptide est administré à un niveau de dose dans la plage de 0,01 à 1 mg/kg de poids corporel.
 
9. Utilisation d'un polypeptide comprenant un domaine analogue au facteur de croissance épidermique (EGF-like) dans la fabrication d'un médicament pour le traitement d'une lésion neurologique chez un mammifère résultant d'un accident vasculaire cérébral,
dans laquelle le polypeptide comprenant le domaine EGF-like est administré suite à une lésion neurologique chez le mammifère, et
dans laquelle l'administration est initiée dans les six heures suivant la lésion neurologique, et
dans laquelle l'administration est poursuivie pendant une période de temps de plus de six heures après la lésion.
 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description