Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a form of brain hemorrhage responsible for 10 per cent of all strokes. It affects about 90,000 people in North America each year, more than half of whom either die or are disabled. Anywhere from one-quarter to 44 per cent of those who survive have recurring ICH. The annual economic burden of ICH is estimated at $300 million to Canada and $6 billion to the United States. Apart from treating hypertension, which is one of the causes of ICH, there is currently no way to prevent recurrent ICH.
Dr. Xiao-Yan Wen, director of the Zebrafish Centre for Advanced Drug Discovery (ZCADD) and his team at St. Michael’s Hospital, used genomics-driven research tools to identify several existing drugs that are already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that have shown the ability to prevent ICH in zebrafish models. In this project, Edge Therapeutics is partnering with Dr. Wen to perform preclinical studies on the most potent anti-ICH molecules known as EZF-0100 for treatment of ICH and brain microhemorrhages (BMH). Depending on the results of these studies, Edge may explore the use of its Precisa™ technology to develop a way to administer the drug in a sustained release profile and may also synthesize and test analogs of EZF-0100 to determine the best drug candidate for preclinical development and clinical study in Canada and the US.
The project will reinforce ZCADD’s leadership in drug development, attracting new partnerships, investment and revenue generation for the Centre. It will also train next-generation scientists and entrepreneurs and create new jobs for Canadians.