- A growing chorus of concerns about brain concussions resulting from athletic events is helping to propel new interest in developing pharmaceuticals to treat this “unmet medical need”
- Concussion treatments have largely focused on simple rest, but medical product developer Odyssey Health Inc. is developing a potential treatment to reduce brain inflammation so needed therapy can get to the site of a brain injury
- Odyssey is also developing solutions for other central nervous system troubles, such as the highly fatal childhood disease Niemann-Pick type C, and nerve gas exposure sickness
- The neuropharmaceutical market is forecast to have a great deal of potential, with revenues expected to grow globally from $79.40 billion last year to $125.60 billion by 2029
Concussion head injuries are becoming more widely talked about among sports enthusiasts since two such head injuries in a week’s time required the Miami Dolphins’ quarterback to be carried off the field during a September game and to experience significant memory loss afterward (https://ibn.fm/AiVI6).
Football season naturally lends itself to concerns about concussions, known as traumatic brain injuries or TBIs. During November, sports news outlets have discussed player losses suffered by the Dallas Cowboys (https://ibn.fm/9omhC), the Kansas City Chiefs (https://ibn.fm/oTyeX), the Los Angeles Rams (https://ibn.fm/7rr5W), the Detroit Lions (https://ibn.fm/twoPL) and the Minnesota Vikings (https://ibn.fm/ogVqu), but TBIs are also being reported in other sports and in youth leagues, as well as resulting from activities generally not regarded as impact-prone.
A high school cheerleader in Texas experienced lasting effects after her third concussion in a year’s time, which led to her being treated for as many as 100 seizures a day, difficulties with balance and visual focusing (https://ibn.fm/KdVwn).
Odyssey Health (OTC: ODYY) is clinically testing a novel solution to the potentially devastating effects of TBIs after developing a breath-powered intranasal device that propels a synthetic drug into the nose, where it can be taken up into the brain.
The drug sparks gene amplification of anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and anti-edematous channels, according to the company, inducing an intracellular steroid receptor found in brain cells (https://ibn.fm/TW9ls). Lab tests on animals and humans have demonstrated its safety, and, since animal and cell culture models of neuronal injury have shown positive effects, Odyssey is preparing clinical testing to establish its effectiveness in humans.
The effects of concussions can vary from person to person because a TBI affects a wide area of the brain, not just the point of impact. In an attempt to heal itself, the brain requires a high volume of glucose-based energy but the body may have difficulty delivering it because of swelling or related blood flow disruption. Repeat concussions may cause such a significant “energy crisis” that the brain shuts down all but the most essential functions it regulates, which is a major reason athletes are encouraged to rest after an initial injury rather than promptly returning to play, according to academic journal The Conversation (https://ibn.fm/NVuT4).
The Conversation’s article notes that, in addition to a lack of pharmaceutical medicine to effectively treat the concerns about TBIs, the effectiveness of some traditional responses is now being disputed by medical science. For example, a long-held belief that a concussion victim should be awakened from sleep every hour may actually inhibit healing for the patient outside of the advent of a severe injury requiring advanced medical attention. And “cocoon therapy’s” complete physical and cognitive rest is now believed to be ultimately harmful to recovery as well.
The “unmet medical need” status of TBIs indicates a significant market opportunity for Odyssey Health. Neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and psychological disorders and migraines have captured the most attention in the past, but the search for TBI treatments is growing more competitive.
Two years ago, the BioPharma Dive journal noted large pharmaceuticals were backing away from brain-related drug development but venture capital investors had been pouring in $1.5 billion to neuroscience in 2018 and analysts were anticipating a new “golden era” for brain-related products in the near future (https://ibn.fm/kglmq).
At the same time, an effort to update estimates of the incidence of concussion from all causes diagnosed by all physicians in a large jurisdiction (Ontario), rather than from single causes of injury or small populations, led to the conclusion that approximately 1.2 percent of the population was reporting a concussion at the emergency room annually — the highest rate reported to date (https://ibn.fm/i8dKV).
Market researchers at Data Bridge recently forecast the overall global market for neurological disorder drug revenues growing from $79.40 billion last year to $125.60 billion by 2029 at a CAGR of 5.9 percent (https://ibn.fm/4fY0e).
In addition to Odyssey’s development of its concussion therapy, the company has been working on solutions for central nervous system maladies such as the highly fatal childhood disease Niemann-Pick type C and nerve gas exposure sickness.
Last month, Odyssey announced the formation of a subsidiary (Odyssey Neuropharma, Inc.) focused on the development of Odyssey’s neurosteroid solutions to advance the treatment of these disorders (https://ibn.fm/mcdB7).
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.OdysseyHealthInc.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to ODYY are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/ODYY
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