Targazyme has been granted an award from the The Sexual Medicine Society of North America that will fund a clinical trial testing the company’s stem cell-based product TZ101 to reverse erectile dysfunction in prostate cancer patients.
The study will be conducted at The University of Texas Health Science Center.
Erectile dysfunction is a common complication of radical prostate cancer treatments. For men who receive either surgery or radiation therapy, nerve and vascular damage will make 60% experience erectile dysfunction at 2 years. By 15 years, up to 80% of men may have this complication.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be used as a post-treatment strategy to repair tissue damage, and have shown promise in regenerating nerves and vascular tissues in men with erectile dysfunction.
MSCs are stem cells that can give rise to different cell types — including bone, cartilage, muscle, and fat cells — and secrete factors that help regenerate other tissues. They can be isolated from different types of tissues, including bone marrow, adipose tissue, tooth pulp, and placenta/umbilical cord blood.
However, using MSCs for reversing erectile dysfunction requires that cells are inserted into the corpus cavernosum — the tissue surrounding the urethra in the penis — so they can effectively secrete factors that accelerate tissue regeneration and restore erectile function.
To address that, Targazyme first treats MSCs with TZ101, which adds sugar molecules to the cells’ surface and creates a complex with the ability to bind certain adhesion molecules highly prevalent in conditions of tissue damage and inflammation.
“Targazyme’s TZ101 shows great promise in improving mesenchymal stem cell delivery to and retention within the corpus cavernosum to restore nerve, vascular, and erectile function,” Wang Run, professor of surgery (urology) at the University of Texas, Houston Medical Center, said in a press release.
“The results from this study will form the basis for entering clinical trials to use TZ101-treated MSCs to treat erectile dysfunction with the goal of improving the quality of life of men with prostate cancer,” he said.
Lynnet Koh, CEO and chairman of Targazyme, said: “While we are primarily focused on improving outcomes for patients undergoing cancer immunotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, the granting of this medical award for study of Targazyme’s product provides additional validation of our novel platform technologies for improving efficacy, safety, and cost of care outcomes for multiple areas of cell therapy including mesenchymal stem cell therapy.”
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