San Antonio based Targazyme, Inc. has received an SBIR award from the National Eye Institute to fund its program for a new cell-based restorative approach to treat diabetes-related retinopathy. The research will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Maria Grant from the Department of Ophthalmology at Indiana University School of Medicine. Targazyme, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that develops enzyme technologies and products to improve efficacy outcomes for cancer immunotherapy and cell therapy.
Retinal vascular diseases are a common cause of vision loss and blindness, and most retinopathy cases in adults in Western society are caused by diabetes. Targazyme will use this scientific award to explore the effect of applying TZ101, a Targazyme-developed product, to patient-derived endothelial progenitor cells to enhance migration of these cells to damaged retinal tissue. Shown to be safe in humans and to improve efficacy outcomes for cancer patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, TZ101 is now moving into later stage clinical trials at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The National Eye Institute supports research on blinding eye diseases, visual disorders, mechanisms of normal visual function, preservation of sight, and other health problems and requirements specific to individuals with impaired vision. These grants cover a range of product development sectors that include therapeutics, devices and drug development.
“Targazyme’s innovative technology, validated by strong preliminary preclinical studies, may allow for the first time, patients to use their own cells to effectively treat diabetic retinopathy,” said Dr. Maria Grant.
“We are pleased to receive this grant from the National Eye Institute. These funds will accelerate Targazyme’s efforts to expand into additional indications such as treatment of diabetic complications where there are compelling unmet medical needs,” said Lynnet Koh, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Targazyme. “The support from the National Eye Institute provides additional validation of our development program and of TZ101’s potential to meaningfully improve the clinical outcomes of cell therapy and regenerative medicine.”
Targazyme, Inc. is a San Antonio, Texas-based privately-held biotechnology company with offices in San Diego, CA and Basel, Switzerland. Its key technology platforms (TZ101 and TZ102) are designed to improve the homing and engraftment of a wide variety of therapeutic cells to target tissues. Applications in development include hematopoietic stem cell transplants, immunotherapies for solid tumors, cell therapies to ameliorate graft-versus-host and autoimmune diseases, and cell therapies for ischemic diseases such as myocardial infarction and stroke. Targazyme has partnerships and collaborations with Kyowa Hakko Kirin and Florida Biologix, as well as various medical research institutions including The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Texas Transplant Institute, Case Western/University Hospitals, Scripps Hospitals, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of California San Diego, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and Indiana University.