Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

A novel treatment for wound healing

A German university has developed a novel treatment that shows promising therapeutic results in chronic wound repair. It is based on the development of a proteolysis-resistant vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
A novel treatment for wound healing
VEGF is a substance made by cells that stimulates the growth of new blood cells. It binds to specialized receptors on the surfaces of endothelial cells and directs them to build new vessels, acting essentially as a key regulator to the formation of new capillaries. VEGF is expressed as several splice variants, so-called VEGF isoforms, which contain a different number of amino acids. Each VEGF isoform has individual behaviour and properties such as its heparin and heparin-sulphate-binding ability.

VEGF plays an important role in normal as well as pathological situations such as tissue repair or tumour angiogenesis. Having the ability to stimulate vascularization, VEGF has been seen as a potential topical treatment for patients with chronic wounds such as decubitus, diabetic, and venous ulcers or with severe burns. However, its therapeutic application has given unsatisfactory results mainly due to the fact that in non-healing wounds, plasmin cleaves and inactivates VEGF.

The novel vascular endothelial growth factor, which resulted with the substitution of the arginin and alanin amino acids in the 165-amino-acid VEGF isoform, is proteolysis resistant. Furthermore, it demonstrates low toxicity in vivo and it can be easily produced using standard biotechnological methods.

Multiple collaborations are sought with interested parties from the pharmaceutical industry for further research, development or commercial agreement. In collaboration with an industrial partner standardized toxicological studies can be performed in order to collecting further scientific data on the efficacy of the novel VEGF and even identify potential fields of application.
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