Surrozen Publishes Study in Nature Communications Demonstrating the Promise of a Fzd4 Wnt Antibody in Treating Ischemic Stroke

  • In a preclinical model of ischemic stroke, systemic delivery of a selective Fzd4 Wnt antibody strongly reduced blood-brain-barrier leakage, death of surrounding brain tissue, tissue swelling, while improving neurologic score
  • Results highlight potential of selective Fzd4 Wnt antibody for central nervous system disorders involving an abnormal blood-brain-barrier

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 05, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Surrozen, Inc. (Nasdaq: SRZN), a company pioneering targeted therapeutics that selectively modulate the Wnt pathway for tissue repair and regeneration, announced today they co-authored a publication with Stanford Medicine and Columbia University scientists in Nature Communications. The results observed with systemic administration of Surrozen’s Frizzled-4 (Fzd4) selective Wnt mimetic antibody in a disease model of ischemic stroke reveal the potential for this novel mechanism of action to reverse blood-brain-barrier (BBB) dysfunctions such as leakage in the surrounding brain tissue, death of surrounding tissue, and tissue swelling while improving neurologic function.

Many central nervous system (CNS) disorders are characterized by abnormal BBB function, including ischemic stroke. Adult ischemic stroke is a serious and prevalent health problem with a substantial incidence of stroke-related death and disability. Treatment options for ischemic stroke in adults are limited to mechanical stenting or pharmacologic therapy with tissue plasminogen activator, although these have limited time windows and hemorrhagic risk. Therefore, there remains a significant need for improved treatment options for people experiencing stroke and other CNS disorders with abnormal BBB function.

The importance of Fzd4 signaling for therapeutic BBB modulation is well known, although successful pharmacologic Fzd4 activation has remained elusive. This publication describes 1) overcoming the challenges of systemic pharmacologic Fzd4 stimulation to develop an optimized, Fzd4 selective –Wnt mimetic antibody, and 2) results from administering this Fzd4 Wnt surrogate (L6-F4-2) in preclinical models of ischemic stroke.

“Today, Stanford Medicine, Surrozen and Columbia University scientists reported results of the administration of a highly optimized Fzd4-selective surrogate that demonstrated systemic pharmacologic efficacy and restored blood-brain-barrier functions in disease models including ischemic stroke,” said Professor Calvin Kuo, MD, Ph.D., Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Stanford Medicine. “This is another important breakthrough in understanding the Wnt pathway and the importance of Fzd4 stimulation as we look to leverage this important pathway in understanding and potentially treating abnormalities of the blood-brain-barrier.”

Yang Li, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Biology at Surrozen, added, “We are thankful to our colleagues who have collaborated on this project. Our deep expertise in Wnt pathway modulation and our flexible and robust technology platform has generated multiple human antibodies that possess either tissue, disease or cell selectivity, enabling us to rapidly develop antibodies to address new understandings of modulating the Wnt pathway. We applied this expertise to develop a Fzd4-selective Wnt mimetic antibody and look forward to further understanding the potential applicability in adult CNS disorders with abnormal blood-brain-barrier function.”

About Wnt Signaling 
Wnt signaling plays key roles in the control of development, homeostasis and regeneration of many essential organs and tissues, including liver, intestine, retina, lacrimal gland, lung, cornea, pancreas, skin and others. Modulation of Wnt signaling pathways has potential for treatment of degenerative diseases and tissue injuries. Surrozen’s platform and proprietary technologies have the potential to overcome the limitations in pursuing the Wnt pathway as a therapeutic strategy.

About Surrozen 
Surrozen is a clinical stage biotechnology company discovering and developing drug candidates to selectively modulate the Wnt pathway. Surrozen is developing tissue-specific antibodies designed to engage the body’s existing biological repair mechanisms with a current focus on inflammatory bowel, severe liver and eye diseases. Please visit www.surrozen.com for more information. 

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements generally are accompanied by words such as “will,” “plan,” “intend,” “potential,” “expect,” “could,” or the negative of these words and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding Surrozen’s discovery, research and development activities, in particular its development plans for its product candidates SZN-1326, SZN-043, and SZN-413, including anticipated clinical development timelines and the availability of data, and the potential for such product candidates to be used to treat human disease. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this press release, and on the current expectations of the management of Surrozen and are not predictions of actual performance. These forward-looking statements are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to serve as, and must not be relied on as, a guarantee, an assurance, a prediction, or a definitive statement of fact or probability. Actual events and circumstances are difficult or impossible to predict and will differ from assumptions. Many actual events and circumstances are beyond the control of Surrozen. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including the initiation, cost, timing, progress and results of research and development activities, preclinical and/or clinical trials with respect to SZN-1326, SZN-043, SZN-413 and potential future drug candidates, Surrozen’s ability to fund our preclinical and clinical trials and development efforts, whether with existing funds or through additional fundraising; Surrozen’s ability to identify, develop and commercialize drug candidates; Surrozen’s ability to successfully complete preclinical and clinical studies for SZN-1326, SZN-043, SZN-413, or other future product candidates; the effects that arise from volatility in global economic, political, regulatory and market conditions, and all other factors discussed in Surrozen’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022 and Surrozen’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2023 under the heading “Risk Factors,” and other documents Surrozen has filed, or will file, with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If any of these risks materialize or if our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. There may be additional risks that Surrozen presently does not know, or that Surrozen currently believes are immaterial, that could also cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. In addition, forward-looking statements reflect Surrozen’s expectations, plans, or forecasts of future events and views as of the date of this press release. Surrozen anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its assessments to change. However, while Surrozen may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, Surrozen specifically disclaims any obligation to do so, except as required by law. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Surrozen’s assessments of any date after the date of this press release. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed upon the forward-looking statements. 

Investor Contact: 
Investorinfo@surrozen.com


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