Scientists at Edinburgh University have for the first time developed methods to produce recombinant Factor H (FH) in quantities sufficient for therapeutic and clinical use in the treatment of the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
FH plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) providing a strong rationale for its use to treat this condition.
However, the protein has a short half-life and currently is only available by extraction from plasma, precluding the widespread use of FH for treatment of AMD.
The Edinburgh researchers have expressed a proprietary FH gene in cells of the yeast Pichia pastoris, producing grams of protein per litre of culture. Furthermore, by introducing foreign amino acids into the protein sequence, this optimised version of FH can be stabilised.
A UK-priority patent application, entitled “Factor H” was filed in December 2009 covering the production method and FH sequences and the technology is available for licensing and/or collaborative research to develop a new treatment for AMD.For more information, visit the project’s website at http://www.university-technology.com/details/treatment-of-age-related-macular-degeneration-with-factor-h