Preclinical data suggest that SZN-413 can simultaneously address retinal non-perfusion and leakage in blood vessels in retinal vascular diseases
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Surrozen, Inc. (Nasdaq: SRZN), a company pioneering targeted therapeutics that selectively activate the Wnt pathway for tissue repair and regeneration, announced today that a poster supporting the potential of SZN-413 for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy was presented on May 1 at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting in Denver.
“The data presented at the ARVO annual meeting represent important developments in our retinal vasculature research program for our novel Wnt mimetic, SZN-413,” said Craig Parker, CEO of Surrozen. “The preclinical data are encouraging and suggest that SZN-413 offers a new therapeutic strategy for retinal vascular diseases such as diabetic macular edema and diabetic
Norrin/Fzd4 mediated Wnt signaling is known to play a critical role in retinal vascular development and vessel function in humans and rodent models. Retinal vascular diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema, can lead to vision loss from the loss of normal retinal vasculature and development of areas in the retina that have no perfusion (or blood flow). There is an unmet need for new mechanisms of action that can provide reperfusion to ischemic areas of the retina as well as prevent leakage of the blood vessels.
Surrozen developed a novel FZD4-specific agonist, SZN-413, and examined whether this novel Norrin mimetic could promote the regeneration of functional blood vessels in diabetic retinopathy animal models. In an oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) mouse model, SZN-413 was delivered intravitreally (IVT) and the avascular and neovascular areas were measured 5 days later. The impact on vascular leakage by SZN-413 was also examined in a VEGF-induced retinal vascular leakage rabbit model, in which the level of fluorescein leakage was measured 3 days after IVT delivery of VEGF together with SZN-413 or vehicle.
In a poster entitled, “SZN-413, a Fzd4 Agonist as a Potential Novel Therapeutic for the Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy,” data from preclinical mice and rabbit models with damaged retinal vessels showed that in the OIR mouse model, nanogram quantities of SZN-413 significantly reduced pathologic neovascular tuft formation (p<0.001) to a level comparable to the group treated with 60 ug aflibercept. SZN-413 also showed a dramatic reduction in avascular area size compared to vehicle (p<0.001) and compared to aflibercept (p<0.01). This shows that SZN-413 is able to induce normal retinal vessel regrowth while suppressing pathological vessel growth. In the VEGF-induced retinal vascular leakage rabbit model, SZN-413 significantly reduced retinal vascular leakage by ~80%, compared to the vehicle-treated group (p<0.01). No observable abnormalities were detected in ocular exams in these studies.
About Wnt Signaling
Wnt signaling plays key roles in the control of development, homeostasis, and regeneration of many essential organs and tissues, including liver, intestine, lung, kidney, retina, central nervous system, cochlea, bone and others. Modulation of Wnt signaling pathways has potential for treatment of degenerative diseases and tissue injuries. Surrozen’s platform and proprietary technologies have the potential to overcome the limitations in pursuing the Wnt pathway as a therapeutic strategy.
Surrozen recently nominated SZN-413, a Fzd4 bi-specific antibody, as a development candidate for the treatment of retinal vascular associated diseases. Fzd4 mediated Wnt signaling is known to play a critical role in retinal vascular integrity and function. Data generated in preclinical models of retinopathy demonstrated SZN-413 stimulated Wnt signaling and was able to induce normal retinal vessel regrowth while suppressing pathological vessel growth.
Surrozen is a biotechnology company discovering and developing drug candidates to selectively modulate the Wnt pathway. Surrozen is developing tissue-specific antibodies designed to engage the body’s existing biological repair mechanisms with potential application across multiple disease areas, including inflammatory bowel disease, hepatitis, eye diseases, hearing loss, lung and airway diseases, and certain neurological disorders. For more information, please visit surrozen.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements generally are accompanied by words such as “will,” “continue,” “plan,” “potential,” “expect,” “advance,” “suggest,” “could,” or the negative of these words and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding Surrozen’s discovery, research and development activities, in particular its development plans for its product candidates SZN-1326, SZN-413, and SZN-043, including anticipated clinical development timelines, and the potential for such product candidates to be used to treat human disease. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this press release, and on the current expectations of the management of Surrozen and are not predictions of actual performance. These forward-looking statements are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to serve as, and must not be relied on as, a guarantee, an assurance, a prediction, or a definitive statement of fact or probability. Actual events and circumstances are difficult or impossible to predict and will differ from assumptions. Many actual events and circumstances are beyond the control of Surrozen. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including the initiation, cost, timing, progress and results of research and development activities, preclinical or and clinical trials with respect to SZN-1326, SZN-413, SZN-043, and potential future drug candidates; Surrozen’s ability to identify, develop and commercialize drug candidates; Surrozen’s ability to advance SZN-1326, SZN-413, SZN-043, or other future product candidates into, and successfully complete, preclinical studies and clinical studies; the effects of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic or other infectious diseases and natural disasters on Surrozen’s business; volatility in global economic, regulatory and market conditions, which may be adversely affected by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine; and those factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 under the heading “Risk Factors” and other documents Surrozen has filed, or will file, with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If any of these risks materialize or our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. There may be additional risks that Surrozen presently does not know, or that Surrozen currently believes are immaterial, that could also cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. In addition, forward-looking statements reflect Surrozen’s expectations, plans, or forecasts of future events and views as of the date of this press release. Surrozen anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its assessments to change. However, while Surrozen may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, Surrozen specifically disclaims any obligation to do so, except as required by law. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Surrozen’s assessments of any date subsequent to the date of this press release. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed upon the forward-looking statements.
Ingrid Mezo, Account Director
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Ian Stone, Managing Director CanaleComm
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Source: Surrozen, Inc.