The fibroblast is a mobile, critical cell type paramount in the construction, degradation, and reconstruction of the ECM (extracellular matrix). ECM is the supporting structure and communication medium to which cells adhere and interact. It can be loosely arranged, or form more rigid structures like membranes and cartilage. It is also key to executing the proper immune response. When activated in disease, the fibroblast transitions to an activated cell known as a myofibroblast. The myofibroblast can be part of normal wound healing, but when it persists it produces both an abnormal ECM, abnormal adhesion to the ECM, and an improper immune response, all driving disease progression in fibro-inflammatory disease (FID). In another form of injury, where a cancer cell, or group of cancer cells, is created, the activated fibroblast is termed a "cancer associated fibroblast" (CAF), and it drives the production of the tumor stoma, a fibrotic-like supporting structure that guides the progression and spread (metastasis). The tumor stroma provides protection from the body’s cancer surveillance and clearance system.
BLR Bio has developed a group of therapeutic biomolecules that are based on a natural occurring set of related proteins (called the CCN family) that together modulate and balance the conversion of normal fibroblasts to myofibroblasts in normal wound healing. However, with chronic injury where there is a prolonged or exaggerated exposure to this injury the CCNs often fail to properly regulate and balance the creation and removal of myofibroblasts and the specific inflammation that accompanies it, resulting in fibrosis and/or cancer. BLR’s novel biomolecule therapeutics target specific pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic elements, including the CCN proteins, thus re-creating a normal physiological balance and blocking/reversing to progression of fibrosis (or solid tumor cancers) and return the body to a disease-free homeostatic state.
Modern medical practice, although quite successful in treating acute disease, remains seriously lacking when it comes to treating chronic, genetic based, and orphan diseases. Abnormal wound healing is key to the development of many (if not most) of these diseases, chief being various forms of fibrosis and cancer. Key to disease development is a chronic insult and the alteration of the cell’s ability to interact in a normal fashion with the surrounding microenvironment including the ECM.
Current chemotherapeutic and immunotherapeutic (I/O)- based drugs are characteristically limited in solid tumor treatment due to side-effects, induced chemoresistance, and/or an inability to reach all tumor cells. This results in a limited patient susceptibility and less than optimal outcome for many. BLR drugs are based on a naturally occurring protein important in homeostasis and therefore are expected to be highly safe.