Researcher searches business angel: could we be curing strokes and we are not?

Dear all,

we want to share a story with you.

Imagine a researcher who once found a substance able to decrease the damage of a brain which already suffered a stroke (ictus). Her experiments in rats were amazing, there was absolutely no doubt about the efficacy of the drug. However, she repeated the experiments. And she got awesome results, again. So she decided to patent the substance for that specific use, and contacted the pharma industry in order to continue the clinical development of the drug. And they said no. One because the drug development was already too advanced, and they were only interested in early discovery. Another one because the company had decided only to focus on Alzheimer, ictus was not in fashion anymore. And so on. The researcher was asked to build a company herself, everyone was pushing her to do it. However, nobody wanted to let her money, and the money needed to build the company had to be hers. She decided not to. The deadline for losing the patent was approaching, and the researcher had no money to pay to avoid it. She was so desperate and so fed up that she nearly had resigned to lose it.

Now do not imagine anymore.  Every year, 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke, and nearly six million die and another five million are left permanently disabled. Moreover, stroke is the second leading cause of disability, and stroke is the second leading cause of death above the age of 60 years. And we do know this researcher. Dr Teresa Gasull has already found not one, but two substances able to significantly ameliorate the brain injury caused by suffering a stroke (decreasing a 75% of the brain damage!) But she needs a philantropist, or a business angel to avoid losing her patent, and a pharma company interested in continuing the clinical development of these drugs, which could be directly entering a Phase IIb Clinical Trial.

There is also moral issue in this story that concerns us. This is not the first time we see how economic interests interfere with research and development of strategies that might imply a big difference for patients. We also have seen bad drugs undergoing preclinical testing even if we do know they are too toxic to ever arrive into clinical evaluation, only because the pharma company behind was powerful enough. We have seen how a vaccine which actually works and could be already in the market  (RUTI, developed by Archivel Farma) is still waiting to get funds to perform the last clinical trial needed. And as medical doctors and professionals working in biomedical research we believe that we have to work for patients. And we understand patients as people who are suffering and need medical help. Because behind all the strange names commonly used in research, there are the patients. And these patients could be your mother, your father, your children. We understand big companies have to work to earn money, but how committed are they with these real patients we are talking about? Shall the community (the general population, the patients, the scientific community, the researchers, the developers) allow that promising drugs and vaccines to be let on the shelf to gather dust? Is this ethical? Is it everyone responsability? Real changes can happen if we want them to happen, and we work for it. At least think about it.

Do you know someone who could be interested in helping Dr Gasull to develop the stroke drug? A philanthropist? A business angel? A company? Click here: StrokeTECHNOLOGICALOFFER to learn more about her discovery. And please do not hesitate in sharing this post and her email (teresagasull(at)yahoo.com).

Are you a journalist and are interested in the story? Again, please contact her (teresagasull(at)yahoo.com), or contact us. 

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