Credit: Graphical article summary from Won L and Kraig RP, Brain Research, 2020
Seurat Therapeutics, Inc. (Seurat) announced today the publication of preclinical studies of its lead product candidate, intranasal insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), in a rat model of migraine headaches, in the scientific journal Brain Research. The studies were conducted in Dr. Richard Kraig’s laboratory at the University of Chicago. Seurat is the world-wide licensee of patents for nasal IGF-1 treatment of migraine headaches from the University of Chicago.
The publication reports that trigeminal pain pathway activation is significantly reduced after intranasal IGF-1 treatment. The studies demonstrated that oxidative stress increases calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) expression, a trigeminal system pain pathway mediator associated with migraine; and that intranasal IGF-1 significantly reduces oxidative stress levels and trigeminal ganglion CGRP. This beneficial effect was not associated with hypoglycemia, which can occur with systemic administration of IGF-1. These findings support that intranasal IGF-1 has a unique potential to safely prevent migraine headaches through multiple novel mechanisms. “Further studies and clinical trials will be needed to validate this observation in humans, but we are enthusiastic about the results,” said Yuan Zhang, Ph.D., M.S., CEO of Seurat.
“IGF-1’s therapeutic effects involve reducing oxidative stress and the amount of CGRP, which are known to be involved in human migraine headaches. This suggests that IGF-1 alone or in combination with other ant-CGRP agents may provide better migraine relief, something we are actively testing in the lab,” said Richard Kraig, M.D., Ph.D., the William D. Mabie Professor in the Neurosciences at The University of Chicago and CSO of Seurat.
“If continued testing demonstrates that nasal delivery of IGF-1 is safe and effective for treatment of migraine headaches in humans, Seurat has the potential of helping approximately 39 million migraine sufferers in the United States,” said Martin Sanders, MD, Chairman of Seurat.
The studies were supported with funding from Seurat, the National Institute of Neurologic Diseases and Stroke, the University of Chicago’s Institute for Translational Medicine, Polsky Center’s George Schultz Innovation Fund, Booth School of Business’s Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge, the Chicago Biomedical Consortium, and CuresWithinReach.
About Seurat Therapeutics, Inc
Seurat therapeutics is a preclinical biotech startup spun out of research conducted at the University of Chicago and based in the Polsky Exchange in Chicago, IL. Seurat is developing a nasal spray to alleviate and prevent future migraines. This treatment addresses the cause of migraines, as opposed to only symptom management, by utilizing a native biological protein, as shown in animal models, to prevent the onset of migraines, repair damaged brain cells, and reduce brain disease. It is predicted that this therapy could be applied as a treatment for other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, due to its neurogenerative properties
About the Polsky Center
Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago brings the power of ideas in the laboratory, classroom and community to the world by providing resources to commercialize discoveries, partner with companies, and attract venture capital. The Polsky Center helps foster a culture of innovation that extends across the University, city and region, including UChicago’s nationally-recognized accelerator program, the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge. The mission of the Polsky Center is to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice, idea and action, and research and impact.