ECM Therapeutics Announces Collaboration with the Louis J. Fox Center at the University of Pittsburgh Vision Institute to Advance Cutting-edge Technology for Optic Nerve Repair

ECM Therapeutics, a clinical stage regenerative medicine company pioneering the development of Extracellular Matrix-based therapeutics for the treatment of unmet medical needs, announces a collaboration with the Louis J. Fox Center for Vision Restoration at the UPMC and Pitt Vision Institute led by José-Alain Sahel, MD, a distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. This collaboration will leverage a platform technology, called Matrix Bound Nanovesicles (MBV), that has recently shown potential to promote restoration of injured optic nerves, opening doors for clinical translation to treat various ocular pathologies.

MBV are a distinct class of extracellular vesicles embedded within the extracellular matrix (ECM) that are enriched in pro-resolving lipids, anti-inflammatory protein and miRNA cargo. MBV distinctly differ from exosomes, a separate class of extracellular vesicles found in most body fluids. MBV modulate the immune response without immune suppression; specifically, promoting a transition in immune cell phenotype from pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory and pro-remodeling functions.

The collaboration between ECM Therapeutics and the Louis J. Fox Center brings together extensive expertise in regenerative medicine and ophthalmic research. The combined resources of the two entities will address the formidable challenge of restoring vision following optic nerve damage.

Dr. Sahel, a recognized leader in the field of ophthalmology, remarked, “The partnership with ECM Therapeutics marks an exciting milestone in our quest to develop transformative treatments for optic nerve-related disorders. Our team, led by Takaaki Kuwajima and the leadership of the Fox Center (Drs John Ash and Larry Benowitz), are eager to harness our collective expertise to push the boundaries of regenerative medicine and pave the way for new innovative optic therapies.”

“We are looking forward to this collaboration with Dr. Sahel and the Fox Center (Dr Kuwajima, Drs Benowitz and Ash) on this important project,” said Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer for ECM Therapeutics. “This work underscores our commitment to revolutionize the landscape of ophthalmic care. Together, we have the potential to translate innovative and state-of-the-art science into tangible solutions that can positively impact patients’ lives.”

The collaboration between ECM Therapeutics and the Fox Center will also pursue use of MBV technology in other ocular applications, including a study using an MBV-formulated eye drop to treat corneal ulcers.

For more information on ECM Therapeutics, please visit or follow the company on LinkedIn.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *