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viDA Therapeutics announces publication of data demonstrating Granzyme B contribution to delayed wound closure

August 15, 2013

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


Source: PR Newswire