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    Stroke Breakthrough Honored

    Fifteen years in the making, MSM’s breakthrough drug for stroke earns top biotech honors.

    Stroke Breakthrough Honored


    When trauma, stroke or neurological attack damages the brain, the single most important factor for recovery is maximizing the number of brain cells that survive.

    Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) researchers have been working for 15 years to develop and patent a drug that does just that. NRG-1, a naturally occurring human protein, can limit damage to brain cells and offer a new level of “neuroprotection” to millions of Americans who suffer stroke, traumatic brain injury or exposure to neurotoxins.

    MSM’s NRG Biotechnology team recently secured patent protection for its compounds and is poised to offer new, life-saving treatment for stroke victims. Currently, treatments are limited to only three percent of stroke victims because they must be given within three hours of stroke onset to be effective. NRG-1, by contrast, can prevent brain damage when administered as long as 13 hours after stroke.

    In November, the NRG program was recognized by the nonprofit Southeast BIO for having the top business plan among several biotech startups. ““While we are honored by this recognition, we are more pleased that these discoveries could aid hundreds of thousands of Americans who suffer each year from stroke and brain trauma,” said Dr. Byron Ford, MSM professor of Neurobiology and an investigator in MSM’s Neuroscience Institute.

    The economic impact of NRG-1 will also be significant, according to Jim Heitner, business consultant to the Georgia Research Alliance’s VentureLab program, which has been working closely with MSM to bring NRG-1 to market. “We estimate the total domestic market opportunity is in excess of $400 million in the neurotoxin space and more than $3 billion for stroke treatment,” said Heitner.

    Learn more about MSM’s work with this groundbreaking drug here.


    About Morehouse School of Medicine
    MorehouseSchool of Medicine (MSM) recruits and trains minority and other students as physicians, biomedical scientists and public health professionals committed to improving the health and well-being ofcommunities.  MSM is a member of the largest consortium of HistoricallyBlack Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the world – the AtlantaUniversity Center Consortium (AUCC).  For more information aboutMorehouse School of Medicine, visit us online at

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