Variant and L&F Research to advance development of VAR 200
Posted: 18 December 2015 | Victoria White | No comments yet
Variant says VAR 200 has potential for treating multiple indications associated with the damaging effects of cellular accumulation of cholesterol and lipids on the kidney, including focal segmental glomerulosclerosis…
Variant Pharmaceuticals has entered a worldwide exclusive license and development agreement with L&F Research LLC to advance development of Variant’s lead product, VAR 200.
Variant says VAR 200 has potential for treating multiple indications associated with the damaging effects of cellular accumulation of cholesterol and lipids on the kidney, including focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). FSGS is a leading cause of chronic kidney failure, and there are currently no targeted drug treatments nor cure.
“VAR 200, if successfully developed and commercialised, will redefine the treatment of FSGS,” says Pablo Guzman, MD, FACC, and acting Chief Medical Officer at Variant. “We believe that VAR 200 has potential to minimise or prevent kidney cell damage and improve FSGS prognosis.”
VAR 200 prevented kidney cell damage in a mouse model for FSGS
FSGS is a progressive form of kidney disease associated with accumulation of cholesterol and lipids in the parts of the kidneys that filter waste out of the blood (glomeruli). Damage to the glomeruli causes protein from the blood to leak into the urine, a condition known as proteinuria. As the level of protein increases in the urine, levels in the blood decrease and patients develop a specific set of symptoms, known as nephrotic syndrome. Symptoms of nephrotic syndrome include swelling, especially in the legs and around the eyes, and difficult to treat high blood pressure, or hypertension. In patients with FSGS, high blood cholesterol levels and an increased tendency to form blood clots are also common. As FSGS progresses kidney function worsens. More than 35% of all FSGS patients develop end stage kidney disease within 10 years, requiring dialysis and ultimately kidney transplant to survive.
“We are excited about the potential for VAR 200 to halt or delay the progression of FSGS, and improve quality of life in patients with FSGS,” says Alessia Fornoni, MD, PhD, Co-inventor of the licensed technology, and Professor of Medicine at the University of MiamiMiller School of Medicine, Director of the Katz Family Drug Discovery Centre at the Miller School, and Chief Scientific Officer of L&F Health LLC, an affiliate of L&F Research. “Studies conducted in our lab using an experimental mouse model for FSGS demonstrated that the active ingredient in VAR 200 completely prevented kidney cell damage when administered subcutaneously.”