COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 29 November 2021, 11am (AEST)

Wound Healing Peptide

Background

Poor wound healing after trauma, surgery, acute illness, or chronic disease conditions affects millions of people worldwide each year.

In particular, foot ulcers are a common complication of poorly controlled diabetes. Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) respond poorly to treatment and often require limb amputation as a life-saving procedure, adding clinical and psychological consequences of limb loss to morbidity caused by ulcers.

Despite a large variety of wound care products, only 3 products have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Of these, 2 are bioengineered skin-cares products, and the third is a growth-factor whose healing rates are 36-50% after 20 weeks. It is critical to develop a better wound dressing material that can promote local tissue regeneration.

The underlying discovery came from study of Opisthorchiasis, which is a tropical disease caused by ingestion of the food-borne parasite Opisthorchis viverrini (also known as the Southeast Asian liver fluke). JCU researchers found the parasite secretes a peptide, named Ov-GRN-1, to repair damage it causes in bile ducts from feeding. Ov-GRN-1 belongs to a secreted growth factor family found in a majority of organisms. Granulin-like proteins are heavily involved in wound healing. The original protein has complex knotted protein structure. JCU researchers generated sets of synthesised peptides derived from Ov‑GRN-1 and screened them for increased stability, improved production yield, and enhanced activity in vitro and in vivo. Of these, JCU303, a minimal 24-mer peptide was found to have superior wound healing properties, more stability and reduced immunogenic potential compared to the parent protein.

Various wounds, showcasing stages of the wound healing process.

Figure 1.

  • Efficacy: 20% faster healing than nearest competitor in animal studies
  • Safety: May offer safety advantages
  • Indication: Potentially broader indications
  • Cost: Peptide manufacturing easier & less expensive than biologics
  • Activity
    • Stimulates fibroblast migration & proliferation, collagen production
    • Accelerates wound re-epithelialisation
    • Restores depleted growth factor activity
    • Promotes re-vascularisation

Topical treatment of:

  • Chronic wounds
    • Diabetic foot ulcer
    • Pressure Ulcers
    • Venous Stasis Ulcers
  • Burns
  • Surgical wounds

We are seeking partners for continued development of the lead candidate through preclinical development & clinical trials.

Seeking:

  • Development partners
  • Commercial partner
  • Licensing
  • University spin out
  • Seeking investment

IP Status

  • Patent application submitted

Patent

  • PCT/AU2017/050959