Former professional football players could receive a new drug meant to combat brain injuries under a partnership between the National Foot Ball League (NFL) Alumni Association and Neuralstem (NYSEAMEX:CUR).
A new compound called NSI-189 may be given to retired football players if government regulators approve. NSI-189 is undergoing Phase 1b clinical trials. The drug targets the brain’s hippocampus and is meant to treat depression by stimulating the growth of new neurons, according to the company.
Details of the agreement between Neuralstem and the NFL were not disclosed. However, the NFL Alumni Association said that it is pursuing basic research into brain injuries and planned to move aggressively to support new treatments and therapies.
In recent years, a growing number of current and former NFL players have complained of debilitating health problems linked to brain injuries sustained on the field.
Last year, insurance giant Travelers (NYSE:TRV) counter-sued the NFL, which had sued it to demand payment of thousands of brain injury claims. In its suit, Travelers argued that it covered the NFL’s merchandising unit, not NFL players.
Shares of Neuralstem dropped more than 2% in Thursday morning trading.