Synedgen Announces Publication of Study Exploring the Role of Biological Ions in Controlling Mucosal Surfaces

— New understanding of role of ions could impact treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases —

CLAREMONT, Calif.-January 31, 2018–Synedgen, a company leveraging its proprietary glycomics technology platform to develop glycopolymer-based therapeutics for infectious and inflammatory disorders associated with the mucosal membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, today announced that research elucidating the role of complex sugars and ions and their potential role in the treatment of diseases was published in the journal, Macromolecular Theory and Simulation.

The paper, “A Continuum Model of Mucosa with Glycan-Ion Pairing” by Shenda Baker, Ph.D., President and Chief Operating Officer at Synedgen and James Sterling, Ph.D., Professor of Applied Life Sciences at the Keck Graduate Institute, describes the role that differences in ion interactions at the cellular level play in driving diseases affecting the mucosal interface and suggests potential therapeutic approaches. This work follows a 2017 publication by Drs. Baker and Sterling in Colloid and Interface Science Communications, titled “Electro-lyotropic equilibrium and the utility of ion-pair dissociation constants,” which established the feasibility of these models for biohydrogel structure determination.

Complex sugars known as glycans are some of the most negatively-charged molecules in biology and coat cell and mucosal surfaces, most notably in the nose, throat, eyes, lungs and gastrointestinal tract to protect against pathogens. Due to lyotropy, the observation that various positive ions with the same charge have different interactions with a negatively charged ion, glycans interact in unique ways with each type of ion. These differences cause small changes in relative ion concentrations to result in large changes in both the electrical potential and the thickness of the glycan layer that protects cells from pathogen attachment and invasion.

“With this study, we were able to contemplate ion interactions and electrical potentials in a variety of biologically important hydrogels and cell surfaces and calculate specific ion-ion interactions for each ion pair type,” said Dr. Sterling. “Understanding how each type of ion affects the structure, electrical potential and fluid behavior of the mucosal surface layers are effects that could be considered when developing treatments for diseases associated with or affecting the mucosal interface.”

In mucosal surfaces, such as the lung and gastrointestinal tract, the mucus is comprised of negatively charged polyelectrolytes called mucins that are very sensitive to changes in ions. In patients with cystic fibrosis, for example, the genetic defect in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene reduces ion transport, causing thick and viscous mucus.

“This study shows the impact glycans and ions have on infectious disease and immune response. At Synedgen, we are harnessing this work to develop new glycopolymer-based therapeutics to prevent and treat infections,” stated William Wiesmann, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Synedgen. “Our first glycopolymer approach is currently being studied in a Phase 1 clinical trial of SNSP113 in cystic fibrosis by Synspira, which has in-licensed our technology for applications in the treatment of pulmonary diseases.”

About Synedgen

Synedgen Inc. is developing a new class of drugs with the ability to suppress inflammation, reduce infection and improve healing in the gastrointestinal tract and pulmonary tree and to reduce damage and inflammation due to chemical, radiological or physical damage using the science of glycomics – the study of complex sugar structure and function. Synedgen uses its Glycomics Technology Platform (GTP) to discover and develop ultra-purified glycopolymers that enhance and mimic the innate immune system by targeting the cell surface glycocalyx and mucosal surface.

Synedgen has successfully leveraged the GTP to develop marketed Prisyna oral care and Synedgen wound care products, as well as SNSP113, which has been licensed to Synspira and is currently in clinical development for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. Synedgen has established research and manufacturing facilities in Claremont, California.

About the Keck Graduate Institute

Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) was founded in 1997 as the first higher education institution in the United States dedicated exclusively to education and research related to the applied life sciences. KGI offers innovative postgraduate degrees and certificates that integrate life and health sciences, business, pharmacy, and genetics, with a focus on industry projects, hands-on industry experiences, and team collaboration. A member of The Claremont Colleges, KGI employs an entrepreneurial approach and industry connections that provide pathways for students to become leaders in bioscience and healthcare.


MacDougall Biomedical Communications
Amanda Houlihan, 781-235-3060