Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOR) announced data from a preclinical study showed that treatment with Glial Growth Factor 2 (GGF2) improved erectile function in an animal model following a cavernous nerve (CN) injury, a common complication of prostate surgery. These data were featured in a platform presentation at the ISSM/SMSNA World Meeting on Sexual Medicine in Chicago, IL.
Approximately 270,000 prostate surgeries are performed in the United States annually. The vast majority of those surgeries are to treat prostate cancer and prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH). The National Cancer Institute estimates that approximately 120,000 men in the U.S. diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012 will have surgery to remove the prostate. The American Urological Association estimates that more than 150,000 men annually in the U.S. have surgery to address BPH.
“One of the most common complications of prostate surgery is erectile dysfunction, caused by inadvertent damage to the cavernous nerve during surgery. There is currently no effective therapy for preventing these complications,” said Andrew R. Blight, Ph.D., Acorda Therapeutics’ Chief Scientific Officer. “The data from this study are consistent with previous preclinical work, indicating that GGF2 can improve erectile function after cavernous nerve damage, either through neuroprotection or stimulation of nerve regeneration. Based on the existing data, we believe that GGF2 may have the potential to also address other peripheral nerve injuries.”
The platform presentation, “GGF2 Is Neuroprotective In A Rat Model Of Cavernous Nerve Injury-Induced Erectile Dysfunction,” given by Arthur Burnett, M.D., included data from a study conducted by the Departments of Urology and Neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. It is the second collaborative effort between Acorda and independent academic institutions exploring the use of GGF2 to improve erectile function. Results from a previous preclinical study, conducted by Ottawa Hospital Research Institute at the University of Ottawa and presented by principal investigator Anthony Bella, M.D. at the American Urology Association 2011 annual meeting, also showed GGF2 improved erectile function following CN injury. The current study extended previous observations over a wider dose range and used electron microscopy to assess the injured nerves.