ST. MARYS, W. Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ProtoKinetix, Incorporated (OTCQB:PKTX) (the "Company" or "ProtoKinetix") (www.protokinetix.com) is pleased to announce that their molecule, AAGP™, an antifreeze glycopeptide that mimics a naturally occurring glycoprotein found in Arctic fish is helping to significantly improve the efficacy of Cell Transplant Treatments for diabetes - a procedure that transplants insulin producing islet to render them insulin independent for periods of time.
Anti-Aging GlycoPeptide (AAGP™), is the focus of a new study published in the journal Diabetes. Researchers from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry found that by soaking islet cells in AAGP™ for an hour and then washing it off prior to transplantation, the cells were protected from tacrolimus—an antirejection drug commonly used during transplants that is toxic to islets cells.
“Normally when we expose human islets to tacrolimus in the petri dish, they flat line and don’t release insulin at all,” says James Shapiro, senior author of the study and Canada Research Chair in Transplant Surgery and Regenerative Medicine at the U of A. “When we add the AAGP™ and wash it all off, the cells work perfectly normally, and are protected in a remarkably durable manner. We find we need far fewer cells to treat diabetes in our preclinical models than we would normally.”
Since his creation of the Edmonton Protocol in 1999, more than 250 patients have been treated by Shapiro through islet cell transplantation. A key challenge of the procedure though is that most patients typically need two islet infusions, each prepared from a separate pancreas organ donor. Shapiro says there aren’t enough organ donors to meet demand. Through the use AAGP, a greater number of islet cells will survive the procedure, potentially allowing more patients to be treated.
“Just a one hour soak in AAGP™ is enough to protect the islet cells for up to a month or two afterwards. It has a very potent and profound effect,” says Shapiro. “As a direct result of these findings, we’re now moving forward with plans for a first in human clinical trial—led at the University of Alberta—testing this drug in our human islet cell transplant program.”
“This synthetic molecule seems to provide significant protection to cells exposed to multiple deleterious conditions, such as UV radiation, starvation, extreme temperatures andoxidative stress,” says Boris Gala-Lopez, lead author of the study and a clinical/research fellow at the U of A’s Department of Surgery. “We are certainly very excited for the multiple opportunities this finding entails to the field of transplantation research.”
Funding for the study was provided by the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation of Canada, while the drug AAGP™ was provided by ProtoKinetix.
”We are very excited to have our AAGP™ molecule showcased in this prestigious journal. We are also extremely confident in the ongoing success of our collaboration with Dr. James Shapiro and his outstanding team” said Clarence Smith, President and Chairman of ProtoKinetix.
If proven successful in human clinical trials, Shapiro believes the inclusion of AAGP™ could soon become a permanent addition to the Edmonton Protocol—representing a significant step forward in the treatment of Type 1 diabetes through islet transplantation. While more research is needed, he also believes the drug shows promise for a wide range of transplantations—potentially working to protect organs as effectively as it protects islets.
ProtoKinetix, Inc. is a molecular biotechnology company that has developed and patented a family of hyper stable, potent glycopeptides (AAGP™) that enhance both engraftment and protection of transplanted cells used in regenerative medicine. Due to the results achieved over the last three years of testing the company is now preparing a submission to enter into phase one and two human clinical trials. Additional studies will be expanded to include whole organ transplantation.
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The information discussed in this press release include “forward looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”). All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included herein and therein concerning, among other things, planned capital expenditures, future cash flows and borrowings, pursuit of potential acquisition opportunities, our financial position, business strategy and other plans and objectives for future operations, are forward looking statements. These forward looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as “may,” “expect,” “estimate,” “project,” “plan,” “believe,” “intend,” “achievable,” “anticipate,” “will,” “continue,” “potential,” “should,” “could,” and similar terms and phrases. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward looking statements are reasonable, they do involve certain assumptions, risks and uncertainties and are not (and should not considered to be) guarantees of future performance. Among these risks are those set forth in a Form 10-K filed on April 14, 2015. It is important that each person reviewing this release understand the significant risks attendant to the operations of ProtoKinetix. ProtoKinetix disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement made herein.