Cephalon Inc. reported Wednesday at the 22nd Annual Meetingof the Society for Neuroscience in Anaheim, Calif., thatrecombinant human insulin-like growth factor-1 (rhIGF-1) iscapable of enhancing the recovery of motor function aftertraumatic nerve injury.

IGF-1 is one of the compounds being developed to treat LouGehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a fatal disordercharacterized by a progressive degeneration of motor neurons.

These results provide a "functional correlate" to the previousanatomical observation that injection of Myotrophin(Cephalon's IGF-1) accelerates sprouting of crushed sciaticnerves in rats, Michael Lewis, Cephalon's senior director ofscientific affairs, told BioWorld.

Lewis said that when Myotrophin was administeredsubcutaneously to mice with crushed sciatic nerves, the miceshowed a faster recovery of such motor functions as graspingand gait than the controls did.

Lewis said that the West Chester, Pa., neurotech company(NASDAQ:CEPH) started its U.S. Phase I clinical trials ofMyotrophin in ALS patients in August.

Another compound in the clinic for ALS is ciliary neurotrophicfactor (CNTF). Both Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.(NASDAQ:REGN) of Tarrytown, N.Y., and a joint venture betweenSynergen Inc. (NASDAQ:SYGN) of Boulder, Colo., and SyntexCorp. (NYSE:SYN) of Palo Alto, Calif., started CNTF trials thisyear.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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