DUBLIN, Ireland and CATANIA, Italy, March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- ThromboGenics Ltd. and Geymonat S.p.A. are pleased to announce a collaborative agreement for co-development of PlGF (Placental Growth Factor), a drug candidate, which has shown strong potential in pre-clinical studies to treat conditions such as ischemic heart disease, through its distinct role in stimulating new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis).
The collaboration brings into a single portfolio ThromboGenics' exclusive rights to the therapeutic applications of PlGF, and Geymonat's exclusive rights to the intellectual property, which characterizes the protein sequence of PlGF.
Breakthrough research on PlGF has been led by Professor Peter Carmeliet, MD, PhD, Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology (VIB) and University of Leuven, Belgium. Professor Carmeliet has published several papers in Nature Medicine, which highlight PlGF's distinct role in stimulation of new blood vessel formation. Toxicology and safety pharmacology studies have been completed both by ThromboGenics and Geymonat in a number of relevant in vivo models.
"A number of pre-clinical studies have identified the therapeutic relevance of PlGF as a pro-angiogenic growth factor with important advantages over similar agents, such as VEGF," explains Professor Desire Collen, Chairman and CEO of ThromboGenics. "The goal of this alliance is to bring PlGF into the clinic, with the ultimate aim to attract a pharmaceutical partnership for later-stage clinical development and commercialization."
"Initially, the collaboration will focus on advanced preclinical and early clinical development of PlGF, including production of clinical quantities via a proprietary recombinant expression system," added Dr. Giuseppe Salvia, Managing Director and CEO of Geymonat. "The joint effort by ThromboGenics and Geymonat will ensure that PlGF moves to the clinic in an expeditious manner."
PlGF Has Distinct Role in Angiogenesis, Therapeutic Applications
The pro-angiogenic growth factor PlGF is a homologue of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor). However, PlGF interacts with receptors in a manner different than VEGF. While VEGF has shown promise in the treatment of ischemic conditions, its therapeutic potential is hampered by dose-limiting side effects. PlGF, due to its more specific activity and targeted angiogenic effect, may allow for an improved risk-benefit ratio, with fewer side effects than VEGF. Pharmacology/toxicology results carried out both by ThromboGenics and Geymonat on various animal species (including monkey) indeed confirm that, unlike VEGF, PlFG is well tolerated even at doses much higher than needed for efficacy.
A variety of therapeutic applications have been identified for PlGF, including ischemic heart disease and peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD), as well as bone fracture and wound healing.
ThromboGenics Ltd. is a privately held company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, focused on discovery and development of biotherapeutics for treatment of cardiovascular diseases. ThromboGenics has exclusive rights to certain therapeutics developed at University of Leuven. The Company has research labs in Belgium, and management team located in Ireland, Belgium and the U.S. The company has two programs in clinical development: 1) microplasmin, both as a neuroprotective thrombolytic agent and as a treatment for vitreoretinal disorders, and 2) staphylokinase as a thrombolytic agent for acute myocardial infarction. ThromboGenics also has five other programs in preclinical development with proof-of-principle demonstrated, including PlGF. More information is available at http://www.thrombogenics.com/.
Geymonat S.p.A. is a privately held company headquartered in Catania, Italy, with laboratories and manufacturing facilities in Anagni (near Rome), Italy. The company specializes in research, production and international distribution of ethical medicines, OTC products, food supplements, medical devices and dermatological cosmetics. Geymonat has a global reputation, with business relationships with several notable companies, including Boehringer Ingelheim, Cosme de Beaute Ltd, Dompe, Ferrer Int., Galenica Holding, GSK, Kanebo, Natural Science Inc., Nippon Organon, Novartis and Procter & Gamble. More information is available at http://www.geymonat.com/.
ThromboGenics Ltd.; Geymonat S.p.A.