$1.9 Million in Grant funding will explore application of novel stem cells and development of branched grafts for complex nerve repair

AxoGen Inc., the emerging leader of the $1.6 billion U.S. peripheral nerve repair market, announced that it would share in the award of two Department of Defense Grants totaling approximately $1.9 million with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

The grants, awarded to Principal Investigators Charles Vacanti, MD and Bohdan Pomahac, MD, both of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, will support development of next generation commercial solutions to help the nearly 1 million people in the United States who undergo surgical repair for peripheral nerve injuries annually.

 “I am excited about the potential to address challenging nerve repair cases through the use of regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies,” said Vacanti, who is chairman of Anesthesiology at BWH and Principal Investigator on the first grant of approximately $700,000. The grant will explore the promise of stem cell therapies in combination with Avance Nerve Graft, a processed human nerve allograft currently marketed by AxoGen, to enhance nerve regeneration. 

Pomahac, director of Plastic Surgery Transplantation at BWH, will serve as Principal Investigator for the second grant of approximately $1.2 million to study the development of branched peripheral nerve allografts to help improve the aesthetic and functional outcomes of complex facial injuries. “During complex reconstructions, manually recreating branching nerve segments is both time consuming and technically challenging. This grant provides us the opportunity to develop a branched nerve allograft product for implantation,” said Pomahac.

“As a leader in the surgical repair and regeneration of peripheral nerves, AxoGen is committed to the development of innovative products to serve the needs of surgeons and their patients,” commented AxoGen CEO Karen Zaderej. “The Department of Defense recognizes the importance of innovation in this area and we are excited to partner with Brigham and Women’s Hospital to develop additional options for complex nerve reconstructions.”

The two grants will be funded through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.