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RN1005 is an advanced preclinical candidate pharmaceutical, discovered by Renovo, targeting the Wnt pathway to reduce scarring and enhance tissue regeneration. It is being progressed towards the clinic partly funded by a 2009 competetive grant award from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).


Anti scarring treatment

A drug being pioneered in Britain heals wounds without leaving a scar. Injuries also heal up to three times faster with the medication, which is being used to treat 300 patients having moles removed.

�We have been able to completely prevent scarring during wound healing in adults,� says Professor Mark Ferguson, of the UK Centre for Tissue Engineering at Manchester University. �It means that, for the first time, scarring may no longer be an inevitable consequence of injury or surgery�. The revolutionary drug, codenamed RN1001, was developed by doctors and scientists in the city. It is injected into the skin around the wound, but could also be available as a gel, cream or eye drop.

Scars are the result of the body�s urgency to heal a wound and stop infection spreading, but the result is that the quality of the skin is sacrificed for speed. However that does not happen with an embryo. When its skin is damaged, it heals without any scar tissue. It is thought that the healing process is less frantic because the embryo is in the protective womb environment. To find out why wound healing of an embryo is so different Professor Ferguson and his team put the process under the microscope.

What he saw was that compounds that control the growth of cells and tissues behaved differently. Wounds that healed without scars in the embryo had lower levels of some growth factors and increased amounts of others.

The team based at Renovo, a high-tech company linked to Manchester University, made a drug which mimicked the embryo-healing formula, applied it to wounds on adult volunteers and found that they, too, healed without scars. �The texture of the skin is much better, and the wound closes much faster � two to three times quicker,� says Professor Ferguson. �We use a synthetic version of growth factors that occur in higher levels in the development of skin in embryos. By subtly altering the ratio of growth factors present during wound healing, we can get adult wounds to heal perfectly with no scars�.

It is thought that the growth factor speeds up the movement of cells into the wounds. These cells then organise the healing so that the new skin is properly constructed, rather than being quick-fix scar tissue. Early testing involved volunteers who had small cuts made on their arms, which were then treated. Now trials on real patients are under way. One involving w00 people with moles on the dace and neck began recently, with the aim of improving the appearance after plastic surgery by minimising or eliminating scar tissue.

Other trials are about to start, including using the drug on the sites of skin grafts of burns patients, and testing it on people who have had breast surgery. Three sister drugs, which work differently to prevent scarring or speed up healing are also in development. �It is a very important drug with massive potential,� says Professor Ferguson. �We lead the world in this, and we will be the first to have an anti-scarring drug on the market�.

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When was the second article published? All these are interesting but its not like its not mentioned before.

June 2004.

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