Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are ubiquitous, complex, and essential components of the extracellular matrix, and have been used therapeutically for years. The focus of this talk is chemically modified GAGs, several of which are in clinical development for regenerative and reparative medicine, including wound healing, adhesion prevention, cell therapy, reduction of inflammation, and mitigation of vascular disease.
To fulfill the imperative of translational imperative, laboratory-scale biomaterials developed in university settings (1) must reach veterinary and human patients.(2,3,4) Examples of how to accomplish this time- and capital-intensive process of moving from bench to business to bedside will be presented for several glycan therapeutics5,6 companies at different stages in clinical and preclinical development. We will discuss perspectives on how regulatory and other hurdles influence the perception of the clinical development of glycan therapeutics, and query what changes in education and research infrastructure are needed to provide continued support and advancement of this promising category of therapeutics.
1. G. D. Prestwich, “Culture of impact: faculty as mentors for student entrepreneurs,” Science Translational Medicine 5, 169ed2 (2013).
2. G.D. Prestwich, I. Erickson, T.I. Zarembinski, M. West, and W.P. Tew, “The Translational Imperative: Making Cell Therapy Simple and Effective,” Acta Biomaterialia, 8, 4200-4207 (2012).
3. G. D. Prestwich, S. Bhatia, C. K. Breuer, S. Dahl, C. Mason, R. McFarland, C. Mason, D. J. McQuillan, J. Sackner-Bernstein, J. Schox, W. E. Tente, and A. Trounson, “Insider Views: What is the greatest regulatory challenge in the translation of biomaterials to the clinic?” Science Translational Medicine, 4, 160cm14 (2012).
4. G. D. Prestwich and Kevin Healy, “Why Cell Therapy Needs an ECM Mimetic,”, Expert Opinion in Biological Therapy, 15, 3-7 (2015).
5. J. Paderi, G. Prestwich, A. Panitch, T. Boone, and K. Stuart, Glycan Therapeutics: Resurrecting an Almost Pharma-Forgotten Drug Class, Adv. Therapeutics, DOI:10.1002/adtp.201800082 (2018).
6. J. A. Alt, B. M. Davis, W. Y. Lee, J. R. Savage, T. P. Kennedy, G. D. Prestwich, A. Pulsipher, A synthetic glycosaminoglycan reduces sinonasal inflammation in a murine model of chronic rhinosinusitis, PLOS ONE, 13 (9):e0204609 (2018).
Glenn D. Prestwich is Presidential Professor of Medicinal Chemistry (Emeritus) and Presidential Special Assistant for Faculty Entrepreneurism (Emeritus) at the University of Utah, where he created and led the Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholars program. He also chaired the University’s Internal Commercialization Coordination Council. He is currently the President’s Distinguished Professor at Washington State University, founding director of WSU’s Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassador program, and led the External Review of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at WSU. He also serves as the Chief Science Officer for the clinical-stage biotechnology bay area company Symic Bio, Inc and the preclinical company GlycoMira Therapeutics. His research includes phospholipids in cell signaling, synthetic matrices for regenerative medicine, and anti-inflammatory glycosaminoglycans. He co-founded nine companies, including Echelon Biosciences, Glycosan BioSystems, Sentrx Animal Care, GlycoMira Therapeutics, and Deuteria Biomaterials. He is a 2018 Fellow of the AAAS, a 2013 Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, recipient of the 2006 Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology, the 2008 Volwiler Research Award of the AACP, the 2010 University of Utah Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award, and the 2014 U of Utah Distinguished Innovation and Impact Award. During 42 years as a faculty member, he has over 650 publications (H-index 94) and over 33 issued patents and has trained over 125 postgraduate scientists. He is a pilot, a first tenor, and an advocate for chamber music.