20 Aug 2013 – 1:00 PDT
Argos Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapies that modulate the immune system to treat cancer, infectious diseases, transplant rejection, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, has announced the publication of key findings on its soluble recombinant human CD83 protein (sCD83) in cornea transplants. The study, conducted in rodents, demonstrates that CD83 can modulate the immune system and promote graft survival.
The study, which was published in the August 15th print issue of the Journal of Immunology, is a follow on to previous heart and kidney transplant studies using systemic administration of sCD83 in rodents. The current study, however, demonstrated that topical administration in the form of eye drops prolonged graft survival in the high risk corneal transplant mouse model system.
“Our previous studies in rodent model systems of solid organ transplantation involved short-term systemic delivery of sCD83, however, this is the first study demonstrating graft survival benefit after topical application at the graft-host interface,” said Charles Nicolette, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President of Research and Development of Argos Therapeutics. “These results are very encouraging and reinforce our continued efforts to advance sCD83 into human clinical development. In some transplant settings, topical administration represents a relatively non-invasive alternative to systemic administration which may not only promote graft survival, but could possibly minimize long-term side effects such as those associated with chronic immunosuppressive drugs currently used.”
More than 40,000 cornea transplants are performed per year in North America, with a one year graft survival rate of 90% and a 15 year survival rate of 55%. If the cornea was previously damaged due to chemical or thermal burns, herpes infections or transplant rejections, then the one-year survival rate of the graft drops to 50%. In past clinical studies, irreversible rejection is the largest cause of corneal graft failure in the majority of cases.