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Drug delivery

Fibrin hydrogel for controlled and sustained delivery of recombinant VEGF

In vitro and mouse studies suggest a fibrin hydrogel that provides controlled and sustained release of VEGF could help treat ischemia. The fibrin hydrogel contains a fusion protein made up of the N terminus of murine Vegf and an a2 plasmin inhibitor segment that binds fibrin plus a second fusion protein made up of the fibrinolysis inhibitor aprotinin and an a2 plasmin inhibitor segment. In immunodeficient mice, subcutaneous injection of the fusion protein-containing hydrogel resulted in stable release of Vegf over four weeks as it degraded. In two rodent models of hind limb and wound-healing ischemia, intramuscular injection of the fusion protein-containing hydrogel induced stable angiogenesis and increased blood flow to ischemic tissues compared with injection of an empty hydrogel. Next steps include repeating the ischemia experiments in large-animal models.
Kuros Biosurgery AG has multiple fibrin hydrogel-based products in Phase II or earlier testing to promote bone repair or wound healing.

SciBX 7(22); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.657
Published online June 5, 2014

Technology for binding growth factors to fibrin patented; licensed to Kuros Biosurgery

Sacchi, V. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online April 28, 2014;
Contact: Andrea Banfi, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland