SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., Sept. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Prolong Pharmaceuticals LLC, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing products for the treatment of anemia resulting from oxygen deficiency and hemolysis, presented a novel approach to treating the comorbidities of sickle cell disease (SCD) at the 41st Sickle Cell Disease Association of America convention “Moving Forward: Advocating for New Discoveries, Advancements and Breakthroughs.” The SCDAA meeting is currently underway in Linthicum, Maryland.
Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a blood disorder caused by a defective hemoglobin molecule resulting in the production of abnormally shaped and fragile red blood cells. These sickle cells break down very readily in a process called hemolysis, and also cause ischemia (restricted blood flow). These two interrelated events lead to damaging inflammation, production of toxic waste products and further deprive cells and tissues of a critical oxygen supply. Although SCD is a clearly defined genetic disease, patients suffer from a host of comorbidities resulting from these events. Unless both of these disease pathways are interrupted, cell death, tissue damage and organ dysfunction can result.
At the scientific session, Abraham Abuchowski, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and CEO, stated, “It has become evident that no single approach will be sufficient to treat the comorbidities of SCD such as pain, stroke, dactylitis and leg wounds. The best hope to reducing these complications will be a product that acts early on in the disease and at multiple target sites. SANGUINATE™ holds the promise of reducing or preventing the comorbidities of SCD.”
Prolong’s product, SANGUINATE, has been designed to have multiple mechanisms of action that interrupt both of these key pathways at several points. It is an intravenous therapeutic that combines the beneficial functions of a carbon monoxide releasing molecule, an oxygen transfer agent and a plasma expander. The carbon monoxide is released, promoting anti-inflammatory and anti-vasoconstriction effects while the oxygen transfer component facilitates the movement of oxygen from regions of high oxygen concentration to regions of low oxygen concentration. A polymer provides further benefit by improving blood flow, viscosity and acts as a plasma expander. In addition, the size of this therapeutic molecule allows it to move through obstructed blood vessels where red blood cells, due to their size, are unable to travel. Collectively, these features permit SANGUINATE to act on multiple targets in the pathway, thereby halting the destructive effects of hemolysis and oxygen deprivation. Researchers have identified several therapeutic strategies for treating the comorbidities of SCD which SANGUINATE addresses:
- Increases the amount of oxygen carrying hemoglobin in the blood
- Prevents constriction of blood vessels
- Inhibits damaging inflammation
- Inhibits cell adhesion, a known cause of ischemia
- Acts as plasma expander to lower blood viscosity
- Treats the underlying cause of ischemic pain
Short of a “cure”, Prolong believes that the only way to truly lessen the overall health burden is to focus on treating these comorbidities. “We are just beginning to evaluate SANGUINATE in clinical studies and we can only hope that it proves to be effective in treating several of the comorbidities in Sickle Cell patients. Safety and efficacy studies are underway around the world,” stated Dr. Abuchowski.
SANGUINATE™ is an investigational biopharmaceutical product that has a multiple mechanisms of action designed to release therapeutic carbon monoxide and actively transfer oxygen to hypoxic tissue. SANGUINATE™ has completed Phase I safety trials and preparing to launch Phase II trials in SCD patients.
About Prolong Pharmaceuticals
Headquartered in South Plainfield, New Jersey, Prolong Pharmaceuticals, LLC is developing products to treat several diseases and their debilitating comorbidities which cause reduced quality of life, increased medical cost and significant mortality. The company’s lead product, SANGUINATE™, is in clinical testing, focused on treating the comorbidities of sickle cell disease and other disorders where oxygen deprivation due to hemolysis and/or ischemia occurs. The company’s senior management team includes inventors of the most successful drug delivery technology in pharmaceutical history, PEGylation, now responsible for more than $30 billion in drug sales worldwide.
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