New drug triggers faster tissue regeneration in mouse models

Case Western Reserve (OH, USA) and UT Southwestern Medical Center (TX, USA) have developed a drug that repairs colon, liver and bone marrow damage in animal models.

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Jun 15, 2015

Case Western Reserve (OH, USA) and UT Southwestern Medical Center (TX, USA) have developed a drug, known as SW033291, that repairs damaged tissues. “We are very excited,” stated Professor Sanford Markowitz (Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine). “We have developed a drug that acts like a vitamin for tissue stem cells, stimulating their ability to repair tissues more quickly. The drug heals damage in multiple tissues, which suggests to us that it may have applications in treating many diseases.”

The success of the drug lies within its ability to boost the activity of PGE2, a molecule that promotes the proliferation of several types of stem cells. PGE2 is degraded by the enzyme 15-PGDH; therefore, Markowitz and Dr James KV Willson, a former Case Western Reserve colleague now at UT Southwestern, hypothesized that inhibition of 15-PGDH would increase PGE2 in tissues.

They subsequently developed the 15-PGDH inhibitor SW033291, which, as predicted, boosted PGE2 levels and resulted in improved repair of tissues. The drug even worked well enough to save the lives of bone marrow transplantation model mice that otherwise would have died.

The next step is to develop the drug for investigation in humans, with the hope it will promote faster and more effective tissue regeneration. Owing to the fact that it was found to repair colon, bone marrow and liver damage in the mouse model, the team would initially investigate the efficacy of the drug in patients receiving bone marrow transplants, with ulcerative colitis or having liver surgery.


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Alexandra Thompson

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