FEB 02, 2017
A nasal solution of signaling molecules called ST266 has demonstrated the potential to prevent retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss in preclinical models of optic neuritis.
In a study published in Nature Scientific Reports, ST266 slowed visual decline and prevented further cell death in both rodent and in vitro models by reducing the degree of demyelination and inflammatory cell infiltration into the optic nerve.
Administered as intranasal drops, the treatment reached the central nervous system of rats within 30 minutes, and was detected at higher concentrations in the vitreous and optic nerve than the brain, demonstrating that intranasal delivery can target tissues of the eye.
“Current therapies reduce inflammation but fail to prevent RGC loss; thus, there is a need for combination treatment options that are able to prevent RGC axon loss for patients with optic neuritis, said Kenneth S. Shindler, MD, PhD, head of the Perelman School of Medicine ophthalmology lab in which the research was conducted, in partnership with Noveome Biotherapeutics. “The unique and diverse biologic molecules present in ST266 were seen to help promote anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective activity in this preclinical model and suggest that ST266 has the potential to mediate neuroprotection through activation of multiple intracellular signaling pathways.”
ST266 is a complex biologic called a secretome, as it contains a mixture of active anti-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors secreted from cells – in this case proprietary amnion cells. When introduced to ocular tissue, the secretome utilizes paracrine signaling to induce neuroprotective effects in nearby cells. The researchers observed reduction in oxidative stress, SIRT1-mediated mitochondrial function promotion and pAKT signaling.
Broader applications for ST266 are being investigated, as the formulation of molecules has also demonstrated properties to speed impaired wound healing, promote bone restoration, restore nerve function, regenerate cells and restore cellular homeostasis.