A Matter of Cellular Integrity
A cell-free biologic could act as platform therapeutic for a variety of serious diseases.
Maryam Mahdi | | Interview
The process of normal wound healing is complex, relying on an exquisitely choreographed interaction between a variety of bioactive proteins and other factors. When wound healing goes awry, conventional “one-drug, one-target” approaches have struggled to restore the intricate balance.
But back in the 1970s, scarless fetal wound healing was first observed following in utero surgeries as a treatment for spina bifida. The phenomenon has been attributed to the numerous growth factors and cytokines secreted by the amnion epithelial cell layer of the placenta; notably, fetal skin contains a higher ratio of collagen type III to collagen type I compared with adult skin. The findings pointed to powerful wound healing capabilities, and scientists soon began to investigate numerous components of the fetal environment.
Not surprisingly, there has been significant interest in fully harnessing these healing properties for therapeutic uses. For example, Noveome Biotherapeutics is developing a novel platform biologic, ST266, as a therapeutic for diverse disease indications. ST266 is a cell-free biologic secreted by a novel population of select amnion-derived epithelial cells, which have been collected from full-term placentas that are normally discarded after birth. These cells are cultured using a proprietary method and produce many of the biological factors found in amniotic fluid that may be responsible for the remarkable healing capabilities and lack of scarring observed following in utero fetal surgery.
Here, we speak to Noveome’s Larry Brown, Executive of Research & Development/Chief Scientific Officer and Randall Rupp, Executive Vice President of Manufacturing and Development, to find out more about the clinical-stage company and its objectives.
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