Allied Minds, a Boston, Mass.-based science and technology development and commercialization company, has launched Novare Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutic products that help the body replenish and rebuild itself using its own tissue through the modulation of Receptor for Hyaluronan Mediated Motility (RHAMM). Modulation of RHAMM also is of benefit in inflammatory diseases such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).
Novare is an expansion of the Allied Minds subsidiary previously called ProGDerm, which is developing a dermal filler for aesthetic applications that works via the modulation of the RHAMM. This research is being led by Dr. Eva Turley, an oncology scientist at the London Health Sciences Center (LHSC) in London, Ontario, in collaboration with MJ Bissell, a cell biologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories in Berkeley, Calif. Turley and colleagues now have uncovered the potential for additional applications of RHAMM modulation that may help solve medical challenges including arthritis, fibrotic diseases such as BPD in premature infants and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and the reduction and possible elimination of keloid scars.
This breakthrough in tissue engineering also may provide an opportunity to regenerate and reconstruct women's breasts after a mastectomy through the localized stimulation of the body's own adipocyte (fat) stem cells. Novare has licensed from LHSC additional RHAMM compounds discovered by Turley, who also is Novare's chief scientist, and Dr. Leonard Luyt, a peptide chemist at LHSC, allowing the company to more than double its library of RHAMM-binding peptides—and increase potential applications.
RHAMM is a protein that is normally localized inside the cell but is released by certain stimuli. It plays a role in the regulation of spontaneous cell movement and stem cell differentiation. Turley and colleagues found that modulating RHAMM provides the safest and most efficacious means to selectively promote subcutaneous fat generation (adipogenesis), moderate destructive inflammation and reduce scarring (fibrosis) by stimulating normal cell differentiation and controlling the body's own natural regenerative processes.