ProtoKinetix, Incorporated (www.protokinetix.com) (the "Company" or "ProtoKinetix") (OTCQB:PKTX) announces the completion of an in vivo study to assess the effect of AAGP(R) on the long term survival and functional activity of photoreceptor precursor cells (PPCs) in the animal ocular model of genetic retinal degeneration.
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of 24-hour pre-treatment with anti-aging glycoprotein (AAGP(R)) PKX-001 at 4 mg/mL on the long-term (3, 4.5 and 6 months) survival and functional activity of PPCs) following their subretinal transplantation into the eye of nude immunocompromised rats with genetic retinal degeneration.
In vivo tests demonstrated that transplantation of PPCs pre-treated with AAGP(R) (PKX-001) results in statistically significant improvements in both the visual behavioral (optokinetic tracking test) and functional analysis (electroretinogram test) responses as compared with PPCs without pre-treatment.
Imaging data revealed that pre-treatment of PPCs with AAGP(R) also leads to a substantial enhancement of cell survival as determined at 3, 4.5 and 6 months after cell transplantation. At the 6-month time point, the AAGP(R)-treated cells acquired the ability to express retinal and synaptic proteins, confirming that AAGP(R) has no adverse effect on precursor cells' maturation.
Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 and older. It is a disease that destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is crucial for seeing objects clearly and doing tasks such as reading and driving.
AMD affects the macula, which is the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. AMD does not hurt, but it causes cells in the macula to die. There are two types of AMD: wet and dry. Wet AMD happens when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula. These new blood vessels often leak blood and fluid. Wet AMD damages the macula quickly. Blurred vision is a common early symptom. Dry AMD happens when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down resulting in the loss of central vision.
The study was conducted by the Gregory-Evans Retinal Therapeutic Lab at the University of British Columbia.
"AAGP(R) is proving itself to be a very useful pharmaceutical for markedly improving cell survival when transplanted into model systems. That this is important is proven by the functional benefits we are seeing in these models that would now warrant clinical trials." -- Dr. Kevin Gregory-Evans
Dr. Kevin Gregory-Evans on ProtoKinetix AAGP(R)
Dr. Gregory-Evans Bio
The success of these tests opens doors for ProtoKinetix AAGP(R) in the entire field of regenerative medicine. The next step towards commercialization is partnering with a major pharma to adapt AAGP(R) into their current clinical trial program. The global ophthalmic therapeutics/drug market is expected to reach USD $35.7 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc.