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Lipoxygenase: a novel therapeutic agent for wound healing

Reference Number TO 15-00094

Challenge

Wound healing is an intricate process during which skin or other tissue repairs itself after injuries. Most of the tissue of the human body cannot be regenerated, ie replaced functionally and aesthetically; instead, the wound is filled up with replacement tissue. Even minor disturbances during wound healing can cause the fragile process to fail, leading to hypertrophic or keloid scarring, which both have a disfiguring or functional impact, as often seen with burn victims.

Amphibians on the other hand not only have the ability to fully regenerate any tissue, but also limbs; even large defects heal without scarring. Further insights into similarities and differences between wound healing in mammals as opposed to amphibians could lead to the discovery of novel therapeutic agents for various applications.

Transient AmbLOXe transfection of a  human keratinocyte cell line. In an in vivo scratch assay nonregenerated monolayers were measured. AmbLOXe-transfected cells showed a significantly reduced scratch perimeter after 16 hrs of incubation.
Transient AmbLOXe transfection of a human keratinocyte cell line. In an in vivo scratch assay nonregenerated monolayers were measured. AmbLOXe-transfected cells showed a significantly reduced scratch perimeter after 16 hrs of incubation.

Technology

In vitro experiments demonstrated that the enzyme lipoxygenase obtained from Mexican axolotl (urodele amphibians with the ability to regenerate limbs) is more efficient for wound healing than the human homologue, as demonstrated in a scratch assay of human cells. These results point towards an application of axolotl lipoxygenase and its metabolites as a pharmaceutical composition for conditioning of injured tissue (e.g. in wound dressings) as well as an application in tissue culture; furthermore, the composition could be used in an experimental in vitro model for wound healing.

Commercial Opportunity

In-licensing or cooperation for further development of the scientific and therapeutic potential of axolotl lipoxygenase is possible.

Developmental Status

The technology has been successfully evaluated in in vitro assays.

Patent Situation

US patent (US 9,066,937B2) and European patent (EP 2435069B1, valdiated in DE, GB, FR, CH) granted in 2015.

Further Reading

Menger B, Vogt PM, Allmeling C, Radtke C, Kuhbier JW, Reimers K. 2011. AmbLOXe - an epidermal lipoxygenase of the mexican axolotl in the context of amphibian regeneration and its impact on human wound closure in vitro. Annals of Surgery. 253: 410 - 418.

Stamm A, Strauß S, Vogt P, Scheper T, Pepelanova I. 2018. Positive in vitro wound healing effects of functional inclusion bodies of a lipoxygenase from the Mexican axolotl. Microb Cell Fact. 2018; 17: 57