Dignify Therapeutics


Troy's Spinal Cord Injury StoryIn August 2012, Troy Russell, a scholar athlete, broke two vertebrae in his neck in a diving accident at a Narragansett, RI beach. The break in his neck resulted in an initial loss of mobility to his legs and arms. Over time and through a lot of hard work, Troy has improved physically. Today, he has some movement in his feet, arms and a few fingers. He continues to work hard to progress towards regaining mobility. In fact, he just participated in Project Walk, in which he was able to actually walk with help.

His mother, Darlene, shared his story with Dignify Therapeutics recently. Darlene says, “To this day, I feel that the hardest part of the injury is the bladder and I pray every day for the return of his bladder function.”  Troy is still making continued progress, but his independence is limited due to his hand function and an inability to catheter himself.

Currently there are no effective and tolerable marketed drugs for the treatment of bladder retention disorders in individuals with spinal cord injuries, and bladder catheterization is the current treatment. Although it may be years away, Dignify Therapeutics is committed to discovering and developing novel pharmaceutical agents to restore voluntary excretory function for individuals with spinal cord injuries.

If a drug could be developed that would restore voluntary bladder control, what would this drug mean for your son Troy?Spinal Cord Injured Troy with his mom, Darlene

Troy’s mother, Darlene, says…

“This drug would mean complete independence for everyday living, and would free Troy from the UTIs which have been one of the most difficult issues of his injury.  Troy would be able to be a teenager again – to live at college without the worries of catheing and maintaining a bowel program.  He would have complete freedom and as his mother/ caregiver, I would too!  This would be a complete breakthrough in the spinal cord injury (SCI) world.”

Make Our Vision a Reality: Dignify Therapeutics

Our vision at Dignify Therapeutics is to restore voluntary control of bladder and bowel for people with spinal cord injury, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. We are currently seeking angel investors to help our team of scientists make this vision a reality for Troy and for thousands of others like him that are dependent on bladder and bowel programs. Learn more about investing in Dignify Therapeutics today.

Find out more about Troy on the family’s Facebook page, where you can see a video of him walking during his last therapy session at Project Walk.

Laurie’s Story

December 14, 2005, started out like every other workday. I needed to get dressed, but decided to fix my coffee first and that is when I realized something was Laurie's Story - bladder and bowel controldifferent. I was stirring my coffee and both my feet began to tingle as if they were asleep. I tried stomping my feet on the floor but the tingling was quickly climbing up my legs and in a manner of minutes, I collapsed to the floor. Scared to death, I reached for the cell phone from the table above me and immediately dialed 911. Since I could not get up, I agreed to let the paramedics take me to the hospital. Once there I was subjected to a three hour long MRI and unbearable pain. I screamed at the doctors to help me as the pain and paralysis continued. My family watched in horror as they tried to hide their tears. I was in and out of consciousness until three days later when the doctors diagnosed me with acute onset Transverse Myelitis (TM). My family and I were devastated by the news and by what the doctors were saying. They told us there was nothing they could do for me and that I should go to a long term facility for possible rehabilitation. My family, dissatisfied with this news, immediately went to work searching for an alternative plan of action. Five days later, I was transferred to the Johns Hopkins Hospital Transverse Myelitis Center (JHTMC).

With family constantly by my side, I received plasmapheresis, immunoglobulin infusions, CT scans, daily blood tests, spinal taps and inpatient physical therapy. Several weeks later I landed at the doorstep of the Kennedy Krieger Institute for Spinal Cord Rehabilitation (KKI). Still feeling like I was living in a dream, I commenced my first year as a paraplegic with the will to regain my life as a ”normal” person. All I could think about was how I needed to get back to work. For three days a week my physical therapists worked with me diligently. After a year, I had regained just enough strength in my legs to stand up with the help of special braces and a walker. Gradually, I began to move my legs a little at a time. Eventually though, my trips to physical therapy would be spread further and further apart. There would be no more improvement in my condition. I was destined to live the rest of my life with limitations I never imagined.

Transverse Myelitis is an auto-immune disease which affects the central nervous system. This disease strikes children, adolescents, and adults, from everywhere, leaving them partially or totally immobile. With impaired motor, sensory and cognitive abilities, adults, like me, are often forced to quit their jobs and go on disability. For my family and I, the change was financially devastating. My days would soon be focused solely on dealing with the frustrations of bladder and bowel dysfunction. Many adults even experience sexual dysfunction. The damage caused by Transverse Myelitis in the span of a few minutes or days can leave a person with a lifetime of agony.

These days, my inspiration for getting out of bed comes from crafting and reading, but I am most proud of the dollhouse that I refurbished. At times, reading the TM blogs and posting comments can also be rewarding for me. Now, however, I am putting all of that aside to help the Transverse Myelitis Association by raising funds and awareness for the Walk-Run-N-Roll Campaign. As one of this year’s event co-chairs, I am thrilled to help spread the word about this disease to doctors, patients, families and their care givers.**

Dignify Therapeutics is working to develop a pharmaceutical agent that would allow the user to voluntarily void their bladder and/or bowel within a few minutes of administering the drug. What would this drug, if developed, mean to you and how would it help you in your daily life?

If Dignify Therapeutics developed a drug that allowed me to voluntarily void my bladder and my bowel, I would be the first in line.  I currently have to cath 5 to 6 times daily which means if I go out, I either have to always be near a bathroom or I have to cath immediately before I go out and make sure I am back home in 2-3 hours so that I can cath again.  It is also quite unnatural having to void through a tube all of the time. Voiding the bladder by cathing is not quite as bad though as voiding the bowel. For me, constant bloattedness, grumbling intestinal sounds, gas, hemmoroids and rectal bleeding are common occurrences. In order to void my bowel, I have to take probiotics, fiber and  laxatives.  Sometimes the laxatives take up to three days to leave my system.  If I could void my bowel shortly after taking a drug, I could loose all of the side effects of being constipated.  I can not even imagine the flexibility it would provide.  I would feel like a new person.

**”This story was first published on the Transverse Myelitis Association website

About Current Bladder and Bowel Programs

Catheter used in spinal cord injury patients

Thank you for your interest in Dignify Therapeutics’ journey to restore voluntary control of bodily functions to people with spinal cord conditions such as paraplegia, spina bifida, and multiple sclerosis.  For many with these conditions, restoring control over their bladder and bowel is just as important as gaining mobility. The current procedures for voiding urine and feces require arduous and unpleasant daily routines that often require a caregiver’s assistance and are associated with medical complications.  If you are affected by a spinal cord condition or are a caregiver, friend, or family member, you know the daily struggle of using catheters, and keeping up with bladder and bowel programs.

Dignify Therapeutics’ Mission

Our mission is to eliminate bladder and bowel programs for spinal cord injury SCI

Our mission is to provide safe and effective, practical and convenient, “on demand” pharmaceutical agents that trigger voiding of bladder and/or bowel contents when the person wishes.  This involves the identification and development of pharmaceutical agents combined with various drug delivery technologies.  By focusing on well-established biological targets and “repositioning” compounds that are safe, we increase speed to market, reduce development costs, and reduce risk.

Our Team

Dignify Therapeutics’ management team is composed of some of the most successful and well known scientist/ entrepreneurs in the field of novel urological drug discovery and development. While each is an asset individually, it is really the team chemistry, camaraderie, and esprit de corps that keeps the focus on team goals and maximizes the probability of success.  The majority of the team has been together continuously through two successful start-ups, and brings a high level of enthusiasm for creating a new company to improve life for people with spinal cord injury, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, and other neurological conditions.

We Need Your Help

Dignify Therapeutics is looking for a few good men and women who have a personal understanding of the burdens that voiding dysfunctions place on the already challenging lifestyle facing them, their loved ones, or their patients with spinal conditions. We are looking for investors to help make the dream of restoring voluntary bladder and bowel control a reality.  A potential investor of Dignify Therapeutics will:

  • -Be an accredited investor*
  • -Expect a competitive return on their investment
  • -Want to invest in a for-profit startup biotech company with a corporate humanitarian vision
  • -Desire a senior management team with a long and successful history together

*Net worth above $1 MM or three years of income over $200K per year

Is this you, or potentially someone you may know?  If you would like more information about this opportunity, please Contact Us.

Can’t Invest?  Please Pass It On

If you do not meet the qualifications to be an investor but you like what we are doing for those with spinal cord conditions, we would love for you to share our cause with your friends.  Thank you so much for being a part of our grass roots movement to spread the word!

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