Newswise — Researchers from Florida Atlantic University are collaborating with scientists from Sancilio and Company, Inc., in Riviera Beach, Fla., to begin a new research project aimed at finding a treatment for patients afflicted by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). RP is an inherited disease that causes severe progressive vision impairment and blindness. The disease is recognized as the leading cause of inherited blindness that affects approximately 1 in 4,000 people and can cause blindness as early as within the first year of life.
“There are currently no treatments available for this devastating progressive and degenerative eye disorder,” said Frederick Sancilio, Ph.D., president of Sancilio & Company, Inc. “By combining our knowledge, resources and expertise with neuroscientists from Florida Atlantic University we are hopeful that we will be able to further develop a treatment to halt this disease.”
Prior preclinical studies performed by scientists at Sancilio and Company, Inc. have demonstrated the potential therapeutic effect of SC412, an investigational drug that the company is currently developing for the treatment of this condition. In partnership with neuroscientists in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Sancilio and Company, Inc. will test the therapeutic effects of SC412 in a validated animal model for RP. In addition, the project also will investigate different formulations to define the best and most convenient route of administration.
Wen Shen, Ph.D., a neuroscientist, associate professor of biomedical science in FAU’s College of Medicine and a faculty member in FAU’s Brain Institute who has expertise in retinal physiology, will spearhead evaluating the new drug in the animal model. Her laboratory will carry out the initial testing of SC412 on the animal model for RP, investigating the effectiveness and safety of the compound and gathering the basic information for a preclinical trial. “Having positive results from these experiments will be a significant step closer to testing this molecule in human studies in the near future,” said Sancilio.
FAU neuroscience faculty members are tackling many of the cutting-edge questions in neuroscience through the integration of multiple disciplines, different model systems and a broad spectrum of technologies.
About Florida Atlantic University:Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.
About Sancilio & Company, Inc. Sancilio & Company, Inc. (SCI) is a fully integrated, specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing pharmaceutical products, including those based on our proprietary Advanced Lipid Technologies™ (ALT®) platform. Sancilio is pursuing treatments for sickle cell disease, short bowel syndrome and severe hypertriglyceridemia. We utilize our cGMP compliant facility to develop and manufacture our products. Our ALT® platform is designed to enhance the bioavailability, reduce the food effect and improve the efficacy of lipids and lipophilic active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Lipids are hydrophobic or amphipathic molecules, including fatty acids, steroids (including hormones) and fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D, E and K). Our business model is to apply our ALT® platform to lipids or lipophilic APIs to create unique product candidates that address the disorders and diseases resulting from imbalances of lipids in the body. In addition to our primary focus of developing our proprietary products using the ALT® platform, we make use of, and license rights to, our proprietary ALT® platform and other technologies to third parties, providing both development and subsequent soft gelatin encapsulation services as required. More information is available at: www.sancilio.com.