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International Spinal Cord Injury Foundations Unite to Advance the Delivery of Spinal Cord Therapies, with a Focus on Combinatorial Treatment Strategies

​LONDON and SHORT HILLS, NJ (February 15, 2021)

The International Spinal Research Trust (ISRT) and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation (Reeve Foundation) today announced a joint approach to their research strategies with a focus on accelerating the progress of therapies and their delivery to the millions of people around the world living with the life-altering effects of paralysis.

Sharing Knowledge, Resources and Experience
For 40 years, ISRT and the Reeve Foundation have shared a commitment to bringing therapeutics that restore function and independence to the spinal cord injury (SCI) community. This new alliance, inspired by the speed at which solutions for COVID-19 are being delivered, seeks to take a coordinated, global approach to accelerate the processes of bringing meaningful therapeutics to those living with SCI.

The new Chief Executive of ISRT, Harvey Sihota, commented, “We have seen major advances in our understanding of spinal cord biology, including improvements in diagnostics, acute treatment and rehabilitation. Building on these medical advances, we are now seeking to accelerate processes which can bring restorative treatments to those living with SCI. Given the complexity and scale of the challenge, we see a unified approach as critical to success.”

A Blueprint for Speed

At the core of this alliance is a collaborative blueprint to accelerate the development and delivery of meaningful therapeutics. This will establish a framework for decision-making, planning and governance to advance the most promising therapies from the preclinical stage through clinical trials and into medical practice.

The alliance is focusing on combinatorial interventions, innovative protocols and broader stakeholder engagement for fast-tracking these interventions through the translation stage.

Jay Shepard, Chairman of the Reeve Foundation Board of Directors, remarked, “This collaborative strategy will address critical systemic issues — including preclinical testing, optimised clinical trial design, regulatory considerations, intellectual property and the feasibility of commercialisation – that are key to bringing novel therapies to market and ensuring access for the paralysis community.”

Joint Funding Supports Drive to Achieve Functional Restoration
To mark this new alliance, the two foundations have agreed to co-fund a newly created translational award, totalling £1,000,000 ($1.3 million), focused on restoring function in chronic SCI through novel circuit formation.

Dr. David Allan, Chairman of ISRT, said, “We are thrilled to be joining together to participate in this innovative effort to address one of the most complex and daunting challenges in the medical world. Our two organizations share very similar research ambitions and have grown closer in recent years. It is our privilege to get this important initiative underway and we look forward to welcoming others into a growing coalition for action.”


About ISRT

Spinal Research (ISRT) is the UK’s leading charity funding medical research around the world to develop effective treatments for paralysis. ISRT envisions a world without the consequences of paralysis by developing and delivering treatments to restore function to people living with spinal cord injury. Please visit to find out more.

About the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis. By uniting the brightest minds in the field, we are working tirelessly to accelerate scientific discovery across the field of spinal cord research by investing in labs across the globe. Additionally, through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living, the Reeve Foundation’s national Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) promotes the health, well-being, and independence of people living with paralysis, providing comprehensive information, resources, and referral services assisting over 100,000 individuals and families since its launch in 2002. The Reeve Foundation is committed to elevating our community’s voices and needs to achieve greater representation and independence. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal.For more information, please visit our website at or call 800-225-0292.

Media Contacts:


Andy Russell

[email protected]

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Olivia H. Mullane

[email protected]

973-933-7133 / 732-277-5625