FibroGenesis Expands Fight Against COVID-19 In Brazil with International Collaboration
HOUSTON, Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- FibroGenesis, the leading developer of fibroblast based therapeutic solutions for unmet medical needs has entered into a clinical collaboration agreement with Brazilian R4D Biotech. Holding the world's largest patent portfolio in the field of cell therapies using fibroblasts, FibroGenesis is expanding its ongoing clinical programs internationally. The partnership will pave the way for clinical studies of PneumoBlast™ in Brazil as a unique treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) for patients affected by COVID-19, in parallel to clinical studies in the United States upon approval by the FDA.
Administration of PneumoBlast™ in pre-clinical and animal studies resulted in dramatic improvement of immunological signaling molecules, reducing concentrations of the inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1 beta, interleukin-6, interleukin-8, interleukin-17, interleukin-18, and Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha TNFa. Company scientists have also demonstrated that PneumoBlast™ has induced statistically significant reduction of lung fibrosis and lung scarring in COVID-19 infected animals, particularly when compared to more conventional treatments using bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). Furthermore, recent data supports the potential benefits of PneumoBlast™ for preventing COVID-19 blood clotting. Both companies will collaborate on a clinical study design that meets the needs of Brazilian patients.
"As the scientific and medical community is discovering more about the biological and medical consequences of the COVID-19 infection, FibroGenesis is eager to contribute to the therapeutic cure options currently being created to fight this global war against this virus," commented Pete O'Heeron, Chief Executive Officer, FibroGenesis. "The collaboration with R4D Biotech is another strategic milestone that emphasizes our commitment to expand fibroblast research globally."
"The lab results which indicate our cell therapy approach possesses both therapeutic effects on animal models of the acute stage of COVID-19, and also benefits a cure for residual pathology seen in COVID-19 patients, has our research team extremely excited," said Thomas Ichim, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, FibroGenesis.
"Technology transfer is at the core of this partnership," said Paulo Ferraz, BRICS/Emerging Markets Director of international fund Newstar Ventures and an advisor for FibroGenesis on this transaction. "R4D Biotech has access to sophisticated resources comprising research facilities and hospitals, and its talent pool includes scientific advisors who are recognized academics and distinguished members of the Brazilian Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences. PneumoBlast™ clinical study will represent the first step in a long-term relationship designed to aid in the discovery of advanced therapeutic solutions for chronic medical needs."
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