St. Marys, West Virginia
ProtoKinetix, Incorporated (OTC: PKTX) (the “Company” or “ProtoKinetix”) (www.protokinetix.com) updates its stockholders on the testing of neuronal retinal cells in living tissue at the University of British Columbia (“UBC”) under the guidance of Dr. Gregory-Evans.
As explained by Dr. Gregory-Evans, the research program at UBC will be determining whether AAGP® can help improve the survival of stem cells that are currently being used in human trials to treat retinal blindness. We are doing this because of the poor outcome in the current state of play using stem cells in the treatment of blindness. Proof of principal work has been done in animal models but these successes are few and far between. What has been seen most recently is that probably as few as 10% of injected cells are surviving more than a week. Although this is adequate for proof of principle work, it is not good enough for developing a clinical medical treatment. We are looking for ways to improve cell survival in actual living eyes.
The researchers at UBC have reached the conclusion that AAGP® should provide the required level of protection to ensure post-engraftment survival. One reason is theoretical and one is experimental. The theoretical basis is that when tissue is damaged, that tissue breaks down and releases toxins into its environment. We believe that AAGP® can work to reduce the harmful effects of these toxins. Based on previous tests conducted by the Company, AAGP® has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory properties. The experimental basis for our hypothesis is that we have tested the drug in tissue culture in the lab and found that it improves the survival of cells.
The current work that we are doing is taking those results and that theory and looking at it now in living tissue to see if we can reproduce the successes that we achieved before. We have established a new type of model for retinal degeneration in a rabbit and are currently working on injecting neuronal cells plus AAGP® to see if we can see any improvement long term in how these cells survive and integrate into the retina and hopefully lead to vision restoration in the animals.
“We hope to achieve results in experiments more closely aligned with human disease. If that is the case the molecule could become a major advance in the field of stem cells and blindness.” Dr. Kevin Gregory-Evans, Professor of Ophthalmology in the Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
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ProtoKinetix, Incorporated is a molecular biotechnology company that has developed and patented a family of hyper stable, potent glycopeptides (AAGP®) that enhance both engraftment and protection of transplanted cells used in regenerative medicine. Due to the results achieved over the last four years of testing, the University of Alberta has received an Investigational Testing Authorization from Health Canada to enter into a Phase 1/2 human clinical trial at the University of Alberta. Additional studies will be expanded to include whole organ transplantation and other cell therapies used in regenerative medicine.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
The information discussed in this press release includes “forward looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”). All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included herein concerning, among other things, planned capital expenditures, future cash flows and borrowings, pursuit of potential acquisition opportunities, our financial position, business strategy and other plans and objectives for future operations, are forward looking statements. These forward looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as “may,” “expect,” “estimate,” “project,” “plan,” “believe,” “intend,” “achievable,” “anticipate,” “will,” “continue,” “potential,” “should,” “could,” and similar terms and phrases. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward looking statements are reasonable, they do involve certain assumptions, risks and uncertainties and are not (and should not be considered to be) guarantees of future performance. Among these risks are those set forth in a Form 10-K filed on March 30, 2016. It is important that each person reviewing this release understand the significant risks attendant to the operations of ProtoKinetix. ProtoKinetix disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement made herein.
For further information, please contact:
Clarence E. Smith
President and Chief Executive Officer