Synedgen To Present Data on Therapeutic for Ocular Mustard Gas Injury at NIH-Organized Medical Countermeasures Meeting
– First results from ocular injury program to treat damage from sulfur mustard gas –
– Announces $1 million funding from the National Eye Institute for continuation of program development –
CLAREMONT, Calif. February 18, 2020 – Synedgen, a biotechnology company using glycochemistry to develop drugs that enhance and mimic the innate immune system, today announced a poster presentation at the upcoming National Institutes of Health (NIH)-organized scientific meeting, “Developing Medical Countermeasures To Treat the Acute and Chronic Effects of Ocular Chemical Toxicity”. The meeting will take place in Rockville, Maryland, on February 25-26, 2020.
Title: Improving Corneal Wound Healing After Chemical Injury With Novel Therapeutic Glycopolymers
Presenter: Shenda Baker, Ph.D.
Date: Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET
Location: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID/NIH) Conference Center, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20852
“We’re excited to share this promising data from Synedgen’s ophthalmic glycopolymer candidates, given the lack of effective drugs for this type of damage to the eye,” said Dr. Brian Gilger, study lead and Professor of Ophthalmology at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “Importantly, the new molecules from Synedgen’s glycopolymer platform have the potential not only to provide a powerful countermeasures solution, but also to be applied in the civilian market where corneal damage is a frequent cause of vision loss.”
Sulfur Mustard (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 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.
Synedgen has developed a class of glycopolymers with the ability to suppress inflammation, reduce infection, and improve healing at mucosal surfaces. One such glycopolymer reduces epithelial damage and inflammation in an animal model of potassium hydroxide (KOH)-induced ocular injury. This glycopolymer was well-tolerated, with reduced initial ocular inflammation (measured by Hackett-McDonald ocular scores) at 12 hours, and lower subsequent cumulative ocular inflammation. Furthermore, relative to control, the treatment prevented significant secondary ulceration, improved the healing rate and reduced corneal fibrosis. Given these results, preliminary optimization of five related compounds has been initiated in order to optimize the therapeutic efficacy of lead molecules against SM burns. This program is being funded by a three-year $970,000 award from the National Eye Institute (NEI/NIH) and the NIH Office of the Director (OD). The award is specifically earmarked for the “Identification of lead compounds to topically treat sulfur mustard injury to reduce ocular damage and improve vision.”
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 glycochemistry 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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