VBS Pharmaceuticals, in collaboration with the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, and the University of South Alabama, announces the publication of a peer-reviewed scientific article that describes a novel peptide that specifically targets and penetrates the vasculature of lungs affected by pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in the current issue of the American Journal of Pathology.
The paper,“Peptide-Directed Highly Selective Targeting of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension” (American Journal of Pathology 2011; 178(6): 2489-2495, by Takeo Urakami, Tero A.H. Järvinen, Michie Toba, Junko Sawada, Namasivayam Ambalavanan, David Mann, Ivan McMurtry, Masahiko Oka, Erkki Ruoslahti, and Masanobu Komatsu) describes the first discovery of a highly selective PAH-targeting and tissue-penetrating cyclic peptide CARSKNKDC (CAR). Injection of CAR resulted in the accumulation of the peptide in induced hypertensive lungs but not healthy lungs or other organs of the PAH rats. CAR also accumulated in various regions of the pulmonary system that play a crucial role in the development and pathogenesis of PAH. These findings support the future utility of CAR in the targeted delivery of therapeutic compounds and imaging probes to PAH lungs.
First author Takeo Urakami, Ph.D., of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Lake Nona, Florida, stated,“To assess the potential utility of CAR in targeting human PAH, we tested the binding abilities of CAR to human cells in culture. CAR binding to these cells demonstrated the presence of necessary receptors in human cells, suggesting that the application of CAR targeting to human PAH is feasible.”
Senior author Masanobu Komatsu, Ph.D., also of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Lake Nona, stated,“The use of peptides for human therapy is a growing concept within the pharmaceutical industry. The successful targeting of the pulmonary system utilizing the CAR peptide can offer unique opportunities to target multiple cell types important in the pathogenesis of PAH.”
Despite recent advances in the treatment of PAH, with eight approved clinical therapies and additional therapies undergoing clinical trials, PAH remains a serious life-threatening condition. The lack of pulmonary vascular selectivity and associated systemic adverse effects of these therapies remain the main obstacles to successful treatment. Co-author and VBS Pharmaceuticals CEO, David Mann concluded,“Current limitations in PAH regimens require the development of target specific treatments and to our knowledge, CAR presents the first technology that allows for this selective targeting of PAH.”
About VBS Pharmaceuticals
VBS Pharmaceuticals (vbspharma.com), a majority owned subsidiary of Vascular BioSciences, develops targeted therapeutics for difficult to treat diseases.
About Vascular BioSciences
Vascular BioSciences (vascularbiosciences.com), a diversified biomedical company with operations in California and North Carolina, provides disease solutions in order to enhance and prolong human life.
Vascular BioSciences makes interventional catheters to obtain endoarterial biopsies, provides molecular diagnostic services, and advances therapies in order to improve disease outcomes for patients with significant unmet medical needs.
About Burnham Institute for Medical Research
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (sanfordburnham.org) is dedicated to discovering the fundamental molecular causes of disease and devising the innovative therapies of tomorrow. Sanford-Burnham, with operations in California and Florida, is one of the fastest-growing research institutes in the country. The Institute ranks among the top independent research institutions nationally for NIH grant funding and among the top organizations worldwide for its research impact. From 1999 – 2009, Sanford-Burnham ranked #1 worldwide among all types of organizations in the fields of biology and biochemistry for the impact of its research publications, defined by citations per publication, according to the Institute for Scientific Information. According to government statistics, Sanford-Burnham ranks #2 nationally among all organizations in capital efficiency of generating patents, defined by the number of patents issued per grant dollars awarded.
Sanford-Burnham utilizes a unique, collaborative approach to medical research and has established major research programs in cancer, neurodegeneration, diabetes, and infectious, inflammatory, and childhood diseases. The Institute is especially known for its world-class capabilities in stem cell research and drug discovery technologies. Sanford-Burnham is a nonprofit public benefit corporation.
About University of South Alabama
The University of South Alabama, a diverse and vibrant public university, is making a difference in the lives of the people of Alabama and the nation through teaching, research, service and health care. The University offers a wide range of high-quality undergraduate and graduate academic programs, and the USA Health System, which includes the College of Medicine, USA Physicians, USA Mitchell Cancer Institute and USA Hospitals, provides state-of-the-art health care and medical education.