Surrozen Awarded NIH Grant to Support Development of SZN-043, a Liver-Specific Regenerative Antibody, for the Treatment of Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Surrozen Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering a new class of targeted regenerative antibodies, has been awarded an NIH grant to support development of SZN-043, a novel liver-targeted regenerative antibody. The NIH grant is titled: "A hepatocyte-specific R-spondin mimetic bispecific fusion protein to stimulate hepatocyte regeneration in patients with acute alcoholic hepatitis." The federal grant amount is $1 million for the first year. An additional potential $2 million in grants may be awarded over the subsequent four years subject to the availability of funds and satisfactory progress of the project.
Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) is characterized by inflammatory liver injury caused by heavy alcohol consumption, with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Importantly, lack of hepatocyte regeneration and maturation is a major issue in AH patients. Increased hepatocyte proliferation has been shown to be associated with better outcomes.
The hepatocyte targeted R-spondin-mimetic, SZN-043, is currently in preclinical development for severe alcoholic hepatitis. In pre-clinical models of liver injury, treatment with SZN-043 can selectively stimulate hepatocyte regeneration and improve hepatic function. “By selectively activating the Wnt signaling pathway in the liver, SZN-043 has the potential to stimulate liver regeneration in patients with liver damage and impaired function.” says Wen-Chen Yeh, MD, PhD, chief scientific officer at Surrozen.
Surrozen plans to file an IND and begin clinical trials in the fourth quarter of 2021. “This grant will help support IND-enabling studies and early clinical development in this severe disease.” says Trudy Vanhove, MD, PhD, chief medical officer at Surrozen. “Severe alcoholic hepatitis is associated with significant short-term mortality and represents a major unmet medical need.”
Research reported in this press release is supported y the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number U01AA028951. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
About Wnt Signaling
About Surrozen’s Proprietary Antibody Platforms and Harnessing Wnt Signaling
About Surrozen Preclinical Candidates
SZN-1326 is the first development candidate designed using Surrozen’s SWAP platform. SZN-1326 targets the Wnt-signaling pathway in the intestinal epithelium. In preclinical animal models of acute and chronic colitis, SZN-1326 has been shown to activate Wnt signaling in the intestine, stimulate intestinal epithelial regeneration, and reduce disease activity. Surrozen will develop SZN-1326 for moderate to severe inflammatory bowel disease.
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