RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a company specializing in the development of a groundbreaking therapeutic peptide called thymosin beta 4 (TB4) for tissue and organ protection, repair and regeneration, has just published new research findings that exhibit the peptide’s potential to be used to prevent or slow heart cardiac failure secondary to pulmonary hypertension. PH is a serious cardiopulmonary condition that causes right-sided congestion of the heart, which if left poorly managed or untreated, can progress to heart failure and death.
The new TB4 data was derived from a murine model of PH, which was induced by a toxic plant alkaloid, designed to progress to compensatory right-heart hypertrophy. Compared to animals who did not receive the peptide, those treated with TB4 were noted to have a significantly lower systolic pressure and degree of right ventricular (RV) hypertrophy. The study is currently available in the November 20, 2014 issue of the journal PLOS ONE, and was performed under a Material Transfer Agreement between RegeneRx and Texas A&M University Health Science Center.
Senior author and researcher Dr. Sudhirajan Gupta from the Division of Molecular Cardiology, Department of Medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center in Temple, Texas, explained the study revealed the selectivity of TB4 for the Notch3-Col 3A-CTGF gene axis in preventing PH and RV hypertrophy. Specifically, TB4 caused the inflammation caused by the toxic plant alkaloid to be notably reduced, and was even able to repair damage to the lungs. “Together, our data underscore that treatment of TB4 attenuates inflammatory responses, reduces lung damage, and eventually restores right ventricular pressure,” said Dr. Gupta.
The company’s chairman and chief scientific advisor, Allan L. Goldstein, Ph.D., said the findings demonstrate the ability of TB4 to be used as a vasculoprotective agent for heart failure caused by PH, and corroborates other data showing damage reduction and reversal, and improvement of function.
RegeneRx is also exploring the application of thymosin beta 4 in ophthalmic, cardiac, CNS and dermal indications. It has achieved licensing agreements in the European Union, China, and in several Pan Asia territories such as Korea, Japan, and Australia.