• Dr Young’s trials are being undertaken by the China Spinal Cord Injury Network (China SCINET) which he helped established in 2003. It is the largest spinal cord injury clinical trial network.
• ChinaSCINet has completed three clinical trials to date. The first is an observational trial of 500 subjects with spinal cord injury (SCI) to show that the 24 ChinSCINet centers in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan can collect follow up data on people with SCI.
The second is a phase 1 trial carried out at Queen Mary Hospital of Hong Kong University showing the safety and feasibility giving a 6-week course of oral lithium to 20 people with chronic SCI.
The third is a double-blind randomized placebo control trial to assess the safety and efficacy of a 6-week course of oral lithium. The fourth trial is currently being carried out.
This trial is testing increasing doses of umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (UCBMC) without and then combined with a 6 week course of lithium on 40 patients. If this trial shows promising results, testing the treatment in phase 3 trials in China, United States, India, and Norway will commence.
• As many US patients wanted to take part in the China-based trial, Dr Wise established a US-based group (called SCINetUSA). Several US-based spinal cord injury centres have expressed interest in joining this group including Mt Sinai Medical School (NY); UMDNJ/Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and the University of Colorado at Denver. The flagship institution in SCINetUSA is University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin, Texas.