SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - July 30, 2012) - Lpath, Inc. (OTCQB: LPTN), the industry leader in lipidomics-based therapeutics, has brought scientists one step closer to finding a treatment for spinal cord injury with the creation of Lpathomab™, an antibody that reverses much of the damage caused by trauma to the nervous system.
As published by the American Journal of Pathology, Lpathomab can be used as a drug to reduce the size of a spinal cord injury (SCI) and improve functional behavioral outcomes in experimental animal models. The antibody works as a molecular sponge by soaking up lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a molecule that can damage neurons and promote scarring in the central nervous system.
In collaboration with scientists at the University of Melbourne, the antibody was tested in mice that had partially severed spinal cords. A key finding of the study was the significant efficacy of administering Lpathomab after an injury, thus demonstrating a potential therapeutic benefit. Currently, there are no FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of neurotrauma such as SCI and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
"This groundbreaking research provides new hope for therapeutic treatments for many forms of neurotrauma, including SCI and TBI, as well as other forms of neurodegenerative disorders," said Roger Sabbadini, vice president and founder of Lpath and co-author on the paper.
The research team was comprised of Lpath scientists and collaborators from the University of Melbourne, the O'Brien Institute and Monash University.
LPA is a well-validated drug target as a promoter of tumorigenesis, metastasis and fibrotic disease, as well as plays a significant role in neuropathic pain and now neurotrauma. Lpath and its Melbourne collaborators have recently shown that Lpathomab provides protection against neuronal cell death and scarring in experimental models of TBI and will present this work as a platform talk at Neuroscience 2012, the upcoming Society for Neuroscience meeting (www.sfn.org/am2012). Lpath will also present work at the meeting that demonstrates the ability of Lpathomab to mitigate neuropathic pain.
Ongoing studies are directed toward examining Lpathomab's activity against a range of CNS disorders in which cell death is observed, including Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. The role of LPA in the nervous system has been described in a recent review published in the International Review of Cellular and Molecular Biology (Frisca et al., vol. 296:273-322).
Lpathomab was generated using Lpath's proprietary ImmuneY2™ technology. This drug-discovery engine provides Lpath with a platform from which to generate antibodies against bioactive lipids, opening up a new array of drug-discovery possibilities. About 1,000 bioactive members of the lipidome are believed to exist, but the number could be considerably larger as the study of lipidomics continues to expand. Nature Reviews stated that bioactive lipids promise to occupy center-stage in cell biology research in the twenty-first century.
Lpath utilized ImmuneY2 to discover an antibody against another bioactive lipid, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). This antibody, sonepcizumab, is formulated as iSONEP™ for ocular delivery and as ASONEP™ for systemic delivery. Both of these drug candidates will be further investigated in Phase 2 trials later this year.
San Diego-based Lpath, Inc. (OTCQB: LPTN), a therapeutic antibody company, is the category leader in lipidomics-based therapeutics, an emerging field of medicine that targets bioactive signaling lipids for treating a wide range of human disease. Lpath's ImmuneY2™ drug-discovery engine has the unique ability to generate therapeutic antibodies that bind to and inhibit bioactive lipids that contribute to disease. The company has developed three drug candidates, two of which -- iSONEP™ for wet AMD and ASONEP™ for cancer -- have completed Phase 1 clinical trials. Lpath entered into an agreement with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) in 2010 that provides Pfizer an exclusive option for a worldwide license to develop and commercialize iSONEP. For more information, visit www.Lpath.com.
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