ZenBio, Inc. announced that it has been awarded a Phase I SBIR from the National Institutes on Aging to exploit stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles as a biologic-derived therapy for chronic non-healing wounds in the elderly. Chronic wounds, such as venous leg ulcers, pressure ulcers and diabetic ulcers are over-represented in the elderly and present a significant healthcare burden impacting approximately 6.5 million patients annually. The high recurrence rate and failure to respond to current therapies indicates the need for improved regenerative therapeutics that can overcome many of the age-associated defects in the wound healing process. While stem cell therapies represent a compelling means toward repairing damaged tissue, the intuitive concept that therapeutic stem cells engraft and differentiate at sites of tissue damage is not well supported given the low numbers of cells retained over time at in vivo injection sites, suggesting a predominant mode of action by these cells through paracrine-secreted factors. It is hypothesized that their mechanisms of action occur through modalities including secretion of bioactive extracellular vesicles, including exosomes. Zen Bio has demonstrated prior success in using exosomes to accelerate the healing process in acute skin wounds. The current work will leverage this information in delayed wound healing models.
Source – ZenBio