December 17, 2002
BioSurface Engineering Technologies, Inc. Licenses Brookhaven Lab’s Novel Synthetic Growth Factor Technology
UPTON, NY - BioSurface Engineering Technologies, Inc. (BioSET), of College Park, Maryland, has obtained an exclusive worldwide license to a novel growth factor technology developed by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory in collaboration with BioSET researchers. The Brookhaven-BioSET team made biologically active synthetic analogs of two growth factors, including basic fibroblast growth factor for use in wound healing and radiation protection, as well as other applications.
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) refers to a family of proteins in the human body responsible for the proliferation, repair and survival of cells in many tissues, including the brain, vascular system, and muscle. Basic fibroblast growth factor is used clinically in Japan for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. It also has been evaluated in clinical trials in the U.S. for its ability to enhance neurological recovery after stroke and to minimize the effects of ischemia, or insufficient blood flow in the heart and circulatory system.
The new analogs developed at Brookhaven are proteins that are easier to produce than natural growth factors or growth factors derived by recombinant techniques. BioSET has taken an exclusive license to Brookhaven’s bioactive analogs and improved techniques for making the analogs. Several of these bioactive analogs are currently in testing.
Thomas Roueché, BioSET’s president, said, “Our team is committed to developing these new, bioactive coatings for the biomedical and biopharmaceutical industries. We are very encouraged by the performance of these totally synthetic growth factor analogs as compared to currently available recombinant growth factors, many of which are either already approved for use or are being evaluated in end-state clinical trials for the treatment of serious disease states. We believe synthetic analogs may provide a valuable alternative with improved safety, cost and efficacy.”
“This technology is unique because these growth factor analogs are chemically synthesized,” said Louis Peña, Brookhaven’s principal researcher in the project. “This should result in significant cost savings, compared to current methods of producing growth factors, and it gives us a great deal of control in making useful modifications. Our studies show that the FGF analogs are active and biologically equivalent to natural FGF, and that they work in animal models of human disease. What makes some of this possible is that our analogs specifically adhere to BioSET’s coatings.”
Based on their preliminary research, the scientists believe the new growth factor technology will be important in developing local and regional therapies to treat wounds and other diseases, especially when combined with BioSET’s heparin-based growth factor technology. BioSET’s unique, modified heparin is a coating that allows local and regional delivery of proteins in their most bioactive form.
Paul Zamora, BioSET’s chief scientific officer, said, “We view this as a platform technology to develop analogs to many types of growth factors of current clinical interest, including those used to accelerate bone repair, treat ischemic tissue and wound healing. Initial animal studies have shown that one of the analogs speeds healing of deep skin wounds. Other animal studies suggest that the analogs may also be useful in treating mucositis, a side effect of some cancer treatments. Therefore, this technology could serve several large and different market needs.”
The National Institutes of Health and BioSET supported this research.
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