30.11.2020 change 30.11.2020

Scientists develop substances that heal wounds faster and regenerate cartilage regeneration

Credit: Fotolia Credit: Fotolia

Substances which accelerate the regeneration of skin and cartilage have been developed by a consortium of specialists.

As part of the 'New Technologies for Pharmacological Stimulation of Regeneration' REGENNOVA grant from the National Centre for Research and Development, scientists identified two substances that are expected to support wound healing and damaged cartilage regeneration.

Project leader professor Sylwia Rodziewicz-Motowidło from the University of Gdańsk said: “The goal of the REGENNOVA project was to develop pharmacological methods to stimulate regeneration. The essence of the concept of regenerative medicine is to stimulate the regeneration of damaged tissues or organs without transplanting tissues or cells into the patient's body. Regenerative medicine is an opportunity for people waiting for an organ transplant, victims of serious accidents such as spinal cord injury, patients suffering from lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, chronic wounds, cardiovascular diseases, bedsores or the effects of a stroke.”

She added: “The objective of the project objective was to design, obtain and study the biological activity of peptides, peptidomimetics, proteins and low-molecular compounds with pro-regenerative activity used in free form or with modern delivery systems such as composite hydrogels, peptide fibrils and artificial proteins obtained by genetic engineering.”

One of the patented compounds is a peptide designed by Russian scientists based on the amino acid sequence of thymopoietin - the hormone responsible for the maturation of human T cells, among other things.

The second compound that affects cartilage is also a peptide. It was designed as part of the project, based on the structure and sequence of human autologous growth factor (AGF).

Rodziewicz-Motowidło said: “Growth factors have great potential for regenerative processes. Unfortunately, their action also stimulates the rapid growth of cancer cells, which is why peptides that are their fragments are an excellent alternative. Especially that these compounds can be chemically synthesized in the laboratory. As part of the REGENNOVA project, we also designed peptides based on another growth factor, the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). We are waiting for the decision of the Polish Patent Office to protect these compounds.”

The substance that is supposed to accelerate healing is already used in Russia to stimulate the immune system. So there is a chance that it can be approved for use relatively quickly.

Rodziewicz-Motowidło added: “Our patent concerns another use of this substance in the aspect of stimulating skin regeneration. Our next steps will be to develop the procedure for applying the patented active substance to the wound and testing on large animals. We hope that this process will take no more than two years. After that, the registration process will begin. In the case of the second invention, the process of developing the use of this substance as a drug will certainly take longer, because the therapy also requires collecting stem cells from the patient's adipose tissue.”

Meanwhile, there already are more inventions on the horizon, with researchers identifying numerous other compounds that promote regeneration. They plan to file two more patent applications in the coming months.

Specialists from the Gdańsk University of Technology, the Medical University of Gdańsk, the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology PAS in Warsaw, Medventures sp.z o.o. and Pro Science sp.z o.o. were also involved in the project.

Find out more here.

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