Is Angiogenesis a Treatment and Potential Cure?
Zhittya Genesis Medicine is developing a drug, fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF-1), to possibly treat Parkinson's disease by growing new blood vessels in the brains of individuals suffering from Parkinson's. FGF-1 is a potent stimulator of angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels) and is capable of growing these new blood vessels in ischemic areas of the body, including the brain. Research has indicated that a lack of blood perfusion to dopamine producing neurons located in the substantia nigra region of the brain lead to a lack of dopamine and the classic symptoms of Parkinson's.
In the past, FGF-1 has been able to grow new blood vessels in the human body. In a US FDA Phase IIA clinical trial, conducted at the University of Cincinnati, our drug was able to grow new blood vessels in the hearts of individuals with coronary artery disease, improving many of their symptoms.
FGF-1 has also shown excellent efficacy in treating Parkinson's disease in Cynomolgus monkey models. After being injected with a neurotoxin that selectively destroys dopamine-producing neurons, the two groups of monkeys came down with the classic symptoms of Parkinson's disease. After one group was administered FGF-1 and the other a placebo dose, the FGF-1 administered monkeys not only improved their motor scores almost to normal, but also increased their dopamine production and decreased their build up of alpha-synuclein plaque.
Beyond the monkey-model, Zhittya has begun medical research studies into the possible use of FGF-1 in humans suffering with Parkinson's disease. In June 2022, Zhittya conducted a safety study of intranasally administered FGF-1, which included Parkinson's sufferers. Beyond demonstrating that intranasally delivered FGF-1 was safe and well-tolerated by all in the safety study, it improved the motor skills of those suffering with Parkinson's disease. Zhittya conducted additional studies in Parkinson's in August 2022 and is looking to conduct future studies to determine if FGF-1 can improve symptoms of Parkinson's disease as it did for monkeys.
This computer rendering demonstrates what we believe FGF-1 is doing in the brains of patients with Parkinson's disease. FGF-1 promotes the cellular division of blood vessel cells in ischemic areas, leading to a controlled growth of blood vessels to replenish blood flow to the most desperate areas. FGF-1 is already native to your body, and is used consistently when your body needs to regrow blood vessels, for example, after a cut, scrape, or bruise. FGF-1 is well-tolerated by the human body and, to date, at our dosing levels, no negative side effects have been observed by our drug.