Nanocarrier-formulated anti-fibrotic peptides for cirrhosis - Fast Track SBIR
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This application pertains to the development of Medication for Hepatic Fibrosis. Established cirrhosis has a 10-year mortality of 34-66%, largely dependent on the cause of the cirrhosis; alcoholic cirrhosis has a worse prognosis than primary biliary cirrhosis and cirrhosis due to hepatitis. This application will be of interest to National institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Cirrhosis is long-term liver damage from the buildup of scar tissue (fibrosis) caused by infections, alcohol, excess fat, bile obstruction, and iron or cupper overload. Approximately 400,000 Americans suffer from liver cirrhosis. Cirrhosis affects millions of patients worldwide and remains an unresolved challenge for clinicians. Given the morbidity/mortality associated with this disease, there is an urgent need for translation of emerging anti-fibrotic molecules into effective therapies. Expediting clinical trials for compounds that have successfully undergone preclinical studies has the potential to make much needed medications available and reduce the need for liver transplantations. The scarring process in liver cirrhosis is mediated by Transforming Growth Factor 2 (TGF2) which is the most powerful fibrotic agent. Many known blockers of TGF2 are mostly peptides and proteins which cannot be easily developed onto drugs due to rapid degradation and kidney elimination once it reaches the blood stream. In this application, we propose to formulate three known TGF2 blocker peptides using advanced affinity-based nanocarrier technology. This will prevent rapid degradation and elimination and will maintain relatively constant concentration of active anti-fibrotic peptides in the blood, thus facilitating the transition of these peptide drugs from pre-clinical to clinical setting. We will synthesize nanocarriers appropriate for each of the anti-fibrotic peptides and we will determine affinity (1/Kd, where Kd is the dissociation constant) of the peptide for these nanocarriers. We will then formulate these peptides with appropriate nanocarriers and evaluate the in vivo pharmacokinetics in rats. Finally we will test the efficacy of formulated peptides in animal models of liver fibrosis. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Cirrhosis affects millions of patients worldwide and remains an unresolved challenge for clinicians. Cirrhosis is mediated by Transforming Growth Factor 2 (TGF2) and many known blockers of TGF2 action are peptides and proteins which cannot be easily developed onto drugs due to their rapid degradation and kidney elimination once they reach the blood stream. In this application, we propose to formulate known peptide blockers of TGF2 using advanced affinity-based nanocarrier technology that will prevent their rapid degradation and elimination and will maintain relatively constant concentration of anti-fibrotic peptides in the blood. This will facilitate the transition of these possible peptide drugs from pre-clinical to clinical settings.
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