InteliSpark client, Renerva, LLC, wins a highly-selective grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for phase I of their research project to accelerate patient recovery from recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) injury. Researchers will assess the ability of a novel injectable medical device to supplement traditional nerve graft procedures for RLN injury.
RLN injuries, occurring most commonly during neck surgery, lead to vocal fold paralysis (VFP), also known as vocal cord paralysis. This may result in life-threatening airway obstruction and the need for a tracheostomy, a medical procedure that creates an air passage through the neck.
For some patients, nerve recovery occurs on its own, but many patients with paralysis require intervention to correct airway obstruction and voice changes. The most common intervention is reinnervation, or the surgical grafting, of laryngeal muscles to restore function. To allow time for natural recovery, the current practice is to wait 6-24 months prior to intervention. However, this delay allows long-term changes to occur to the damaged nerves which results in poor recovery.
Renerva, LLC plans to accelerate recovery after RLN injury through a novel injectable gel, Peripheral Nerve Matrix (PNM), and as a result, reduce the consequences of delayed repair. This research project, led by Dr. Lorenzo Soletti, co-founder and CEO of the biotech startup, represents one of the many NIH-funded research projects, via the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, in developing innovative medical technology for improved public health.