Drug based on antibody discovered in sharks blood to be tested in humans
Evidence is also emerging of the drug’s potential to combat a type of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and age-related macular degeneration.
by: LUCIE VAN DEN BERG, Medical reporter, Herald Sun
SHARKS are feared killers, but the powerful predators could soon be lauded as lifesavers.
Melbourne scientists are harnessing a secret weapon in the shark’s immune system to help humans suffering from a range of serious health problems.
A drug based on an antibody discovered in shark’s blood is now being propelled into world-first human trials after receiving a multi-million-dollar funding boost.
In the laboratory, the drug successfully prevented fibrosis: the problematic formation of connective tissue which thickens and scars, causing irreparable damage.
La Trobe University and biotechnology company AdAlta created the first human protein based on the shape of the shark antibody. It’s now being investigated for the treatment of fibrosis of the lungs, kidneys, eyes, skin, liver and heart.
“Fibrosis is the end result of a lot of different disease and it can be deadly,” said Dr Mick Foley, from the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science.
“If there is disease or injury in an organ and the wound tries to heal and it overshoots, you get too much collagen and a build-up of fibrosis tissue, which eventually causes organ failure.”
Pulmonary fibrosis, which causes scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lungs, is one of the main disease targets for the new drug…..
Source: Herald Sun