Synedgen Receives Supplemental NEI Funding To Identify Lead Development Candidate for Ocular Mustard Gas Injury Program
– Additional funding increases cumulative NEI commitment to over $1 million –
– All selected molecules synthesized under this initiative have met prerequisite development criteria –
CLAREMONT, Calif. October 29, 2020 – Synedgen, a biotechnology company using glycopolymer chemistry to develop drugs that enhance and control signaling in the innate immune system, today announced supplemental funding from the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the NIH to identify a lead molecule from the company’s ocular mustard gas injury program to move into animal studies.
Synedgen has developed a new class of glycopolymers with the ability to suppress inflammation, reduce infection, and improve healing at mucosal surfaces. To date, Synedgen has utilized NEI-funding to synthesize and test a suite of new molecules, using the company’s proprietary glycopolymer platform, with the potential to treat the acute and chronic effects of ocular chemical toxicity. Synedgen today announced that all of the selected molecules under this effort have met the prerequisite criteria for cell surface association, cellular regeneration and anti-inflammatory activity to move forward into the next phase of testing. The additional funding from the NEI provides resources to optimize down-selection to a lead molecule to advance into animal studies.
“We are thankful for the NEI’s continued support of our ocular mustard gas injury program, which has added a number of active novel glycopolymers to our library,” said Shenda Baker, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Synedgen. “By targeting the unique environment of the corneal surface, we have created a new suite of molecules with the potential to target an expanded range of ocular indications. These molecules have good residence time in the eye, and provide a unique barrier function that is similar to the eyes’ natural tear layer. In addition, they are designed to encourage healing, reduce inflammation and significantly decrease corneal fibrosis, which is a proxy for vision loss.”
Synedgen’s ocular mustard gas injury program supports development of a potential treatment for military and civilian ocular injuries caused by sulfur mustard (SM). SM is employed as a chemical weapon, and its increasing production and use in unstable regions throughout the world heightens the risk that it could one day be used in a terrorist attack against U.S. civilians or armed forces, potentially causing severe burns to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. The ocular surface is uniquely susceptible to SM, resulting in corneal lesions, edema, ulceration, neovascularization and vision loss. There are currently no FDA-approved drugs for SM-induced ocular injuries to improve healing and reduce vision loss.
The supplemental funding announced today facilitates the assessment of the optimized molecules in an ocular tissue model consisting of normal human corneal epithelial cells cultured to form a stratified, squamous epithelium which closely parallels normal human corneal tissue. The corneal cells differentiate to form a multi-layered structure with metabolically active tissue having barrier properties similar to the human cornea and are used to predict activity in the human cornea. Using this data, Synedgen plans to select a lead development candidate to progress into animal trials.
About The Award
Research reported was supported by the National Eye Institute (NEI/NIH) and the NIH Office of the Director (OD) under Award Number U01EY030406. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Synedgen is a biotechnology company using glycochemistry to develop drugs that enhance and mimic the innate immune system. The company’s lead development candidate is SYGN305 for gastrointestinal mucositis, where a large unmet need exists to prevent intestinal radiation injury, the single most important dose-limiting factor in cancer radiotherapy. Synedgen’s glycopolymer platform has already generated five FDA 510(k)-cleared therapeutics, one OTC drug, one veterinary indexed drug, and an out-licensed Phase 2 program, to Synspira, for the potential treatment of pulmonary complications of cystic fibrosis. Synedgen has research and manufacturing facilities in Claremont, California. For more information please visit www.synedgen.com.
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