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GEN’s editor in chief, John Sterling, interviews life science academic and biotech industry leaders on important research, technology, and trends. These podcasts will keep you informed with all the important details you need.
The blood-brain barrier has, for decades, served as the major obstacle to the use of many therapeutic agents for central nervous system disorders. However, a noninvasive, intranasal method of bypassing the blood-brain barrier to deliver drugs to the brain and spinal cord was revealed by Dr. William Frey in 1992.
Now Dr. Frey and collaborators in Germany report that stem cells can be noninvasively delivered to the brain using the intranasal method. They published their paper in the June issue of the European Journal of Cell Biology. During this week's podcast Dr. Frey discusses what his team was specifically able to demonstrate in an animal model and how they bypassed the blood-brain barrier. He talks about the disadvantages of another approach, cell transplantation to the brain, and outlines the major benefits of the intranasal technique.
Dr. Frey also describes the types of diseases most appropriate for intranasal cell delivery and lists the research advances that need to be made before intranasal cell delivery can be become a viable clinical tool for the treatment of people.
Dr. William H. Frey II is Director of the Alzheimer's Research Center at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN, Professor of Pharmaceutics and Oral Biology and a faculty member in Neurology and Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota and consultant to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. His patents, owned by Novartis, Stanford University, the HealthPartners Research Foundation and others, target noninvasive delivery of therapeutic agents, including stem cells, to the brain and spinal cord for treating neurological disorders, psychiatric disorders and obesity. Dr. Frey's non-invasive intranasal method for bypassing the blood-brain barrier to target CNS therapeutic agents to the brain while reducing systemic exposure and unwanted side effects has captured the interest of both pharmaceutical companies and neuroscientists. With over 90 publications in scientific and medical journals such as Journal of Biological Chemistry, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Brain Research, etc., Dr. Frey has been interviewed on Good Morning America, The Today Show, 20/20, All Things Considered and numerous other television and radio shows in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Articles about Dr. Frey's research have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, the New Scientist and other magazines and newspapers around the world. Dr. Frey earned his BA in Chemistry at Washington University in 1969 and Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Case Western Reserve University in 1975.