Bethesda, Md.-based Regenerx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (RGN) said on October 4 that an expert in heart development and congenital heart disease presented data at a medical meeting that revealed the mechanism by which amino acid peptide TB4 may act to induce cardiac stem cells to differentiate and become cardiac blood vessels, thus, repairing the heart after a myocardial infarction (heart attack).
U.K. scientist Paul R. Riley, Ph.D., associate professor at the Institute of Child Health in the United Kingdom summarized his presentation by saying that TB4 promotes vessel formation and collateral (blood vessel) growth not only during development but also from adult stem cells surrounding the heart and suggested that it has considerable therapeutic potential in man.
His talk was entitled, “Thymosin B4 Promotes Neovascularisation via Adult Epicardium: Translating Its Potential as a Novel Angiogenic Therapy.”
Riley, who has conducted and published key research relating to RegeneRx’s TB4 drug candidate, gave his presentation at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Symposium on Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine held on October 1-2.
The NHLBI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. RegeneRx was one of several companies sponsoring the two-day symposium that focused on adult stem cell therapies for cardiovascular disease.
In January 2007, Riley and his colleagues published a scientific paper in the journal Nature on TB4’s cardiac wound healing capabilities.
RegeneRx is focused on the discovery and development of novel molecules to accelerate tissue and organ repair.
RegeneRx is developing TB4, a 43 amino acid peptide, in part, under an exclusive world-wide license from the National Institutes of Health.
Preliminary research suggests that TB4 may prove efficacious for multiple indications; therefore, RegeneRx is developing TB4 as the cornerstone of its therapeutic platform.
The technology platform has many potential applications in both the pharmaceutical and consumer products sectors. RegeneRx holds nearly 60 world-wide patents and patent applications related to dermal, ophthalmic, and internal wounds and tissue repair, cardiac and neurological injuries, septic shock and several consumer product areas.
RegeneRx is currently sponsoring three Phase II chronic dermal wound healing clinical trials, a Phase II ophthalmic trial, and a Phase I clinical trial to assess the safety of its cardiovascular drug formulation as part of its ongoing clinical development program.
TB4 is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring peptide present in virtually all human cells.
It is a first-in-class drug candidate that promotes endothelial cell differentiation, angiogenesis in dermal tissues, keratinocyte migration, collagen deposition, and down-regulates inflammation.
One of TB4’s key mechanisms of action is its ability to regulate the cell-building protein, actin, a vital component of cell structure and movement.
Of the thousands of proteins in cells, actin represents up to 10 percent of the total protein and, thus, plays a major role in the physiology of the cell. RegeneRx has identified several molecular variations of TB4 that may affect the aging of skin, among other properties, and could be important candidates as active ingredients in pharmaceutical and consumer products.
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health, and at other academic institutions throughout the United States, have published numerous scientific articles indicating that TB4 is effective in accelerating dermal and corneal wound healing in several animal models, under a variety of conditions.
In two articles published in Nature researchers found that TB4 protects heart tissue following a myocardial infarction and can regenerate coronary vessels in laboratory animals.