VANCOUVER, Aug. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - viDA Therapeutics Inc. (viDA), a private biotechnology company, today announced publication of data demonstrating that Granzyme B, the primary target of viDA's drug discovery and development program, contributes to the delay of wound healing and remodeling. The article entitled "Granzyme B degrades extracellular matrix and contributes to delayed wound closure in apolipoprotein E knockout mice" was published in Cell Death and Differentiation, part of the Nature Publication Group family of high impact scientific and medical journals.
In this peer-reviewed study recently published by a team led by Dr. David Granville, (Professor at St. Paul's Hospital, University of British Columbia, and co-founder of viDA) a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of non-healing wounds is presented. In this study it was discovered that Granzyme B was elevated in non-healing wounds and contributed to the destruction of key structural proteins that are essential for proper wound closure to proceed. When the activity of this enzyme was genetically eliminated and these proteins were not degraded, wound closure was enhanced and the quality and architecture of the repaired tissue was markedly improved. The research provides the first direct evidence that Granzyme B leads to chronic non-healing wounds through the degradation of extracellular matrix proteins that are required for wound healing.
In parallel to this recently published study, viDA has been undertaking a series of additional pre-clinical studies using a variety of compounds designed to inhibit extracellular Granzyme B, delivering those inhibitors in a topical formulation in a number of different disease models and seeing efficacy due to the applied Granzyme B inhibitor.
Related to this, viDA continues to develop families of novel proprietary first-in-class small molecule and biologic inhibitors against Granzyme B and other members of the granzyme family. viDA believes that Granzyme B plays a similar destructive role in a range of conditions which makes it an ideal therapeutic target for new treatments for fibrotic, autoimmune, degenerative and age-related chronic inflammatory diseases and that Granzyme B is pivotal in understanding the underlying causes of diseases affecting vasculature, skin, musculoskeletal and potentially neurological systems. The common theme is that increased Granzyme B accumulates in the extracellular milieu during excessive inflammation and aging due to its secretion by immune cells or by cells that otherwise do not express granzymes but is stimulated to express and release this protease. As Granzyme B accumulates in the extracellular space, it begins to degrade key structural and functional proteins that leads to various disease conditions.
This recently published study serves as evidence of Granzyme B's destructive role in one such disease condition. Every year millions of people across North America suffer from chronic, non-healing skin ulcers that are associated with a high degree of morbidity and mortality similar to many types of cancer. Non-healing skin wounds affect up to 20-25% of patients in long-term care facilities and hospitals resulting in enormous costs to the health care system that are estimated to be around $6 billion per year in the US alone.
About viDA Therapeutics
viDA Therapeutics, Inc. is a platform-based, biotechnology company that is developing first in class therapeutics, across a broad range of diseases that capitalize on its recent discovery of a new mechanism of action for a well characterized protease target Granzyme B (GzmB). This is emerging science potentially leading to new treatments for fibrotic, autoimmune, degenerative and age-related chronic inflammatory diseases and is pivotal in understanding the underlying causes of diseases affecting vasculature, skin, musculoskeletal and potentially neurological systems. GzmB is one of a family of five serine proteases now emerging as key targets for drug development given recent discoveries of their extracellular actions. viDA is developing a suite of granzyme inhibitors designed for multiple routes of administration to treat chronic and orphan skin conditions, fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease. For more information, please visit www.vidatherapeutics.com.
SOURCE viDA Therapeutics Inc