Main focus of my lab:
- The biochemistry and physiology of the Opioid Growth Factor (OGF) – OGF receptor (OGFr) pathway during mammalian embryogenesis through adulthood, and the molecular and cellular changes to the OGF-OGFr axis that may lead to disease.
- Translational studies on the consequences of complete blockade of the OGF-OGFr axis with an emphasis on corneal surface epithelial wounds, dry eye, and cutaneous full thickness wounds in normal and Type 1/Type 2 diabetic animal models and humans.
Scientific News: Patent coming
Drs. Ian S Zagon and Pat McLaughlin, along with colleague, Dr. Joseph W. Sassani, an ophthalmologist at Hershey Medical Center, recently received notice of allowance for the Canadian Patent Application entitled: “Method and Compositions for Treating Dry Eye”; the patent should be issued in 2016. This research team is actively engaged in conversations for funding related to establishing large Phase 2/3 clinical trials on treatment of dry eye, particularly in diabetes, with naltrexone.
The Phase 1 study was led by Dr. David Liang, a corneal specialist, who is currently at the Scott & White Eye Institute, Texas. Liang D, Sassani JW, McLaughlin PJ, and Zagon IS. 2016. Topical application of naltrexone to the corneal surface of healthy volunteers: A safety and tolerability study. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 32:127-132. PMID: 26741052.
2017 Book Publication News:
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic neurological disorder with devastating, long-term complications. MS is incurable, and most therapies treat only the symptoms leaving the patient with a reduced quality of life for extended periods of time. Most available therapeutic strategies target symptomatology, and not the pathophysiology of the disease. This book focuses on different biological pathways associated with MS, and contains current information on the prevalence of multiple sclerosis, novel treatments that target pathophysiology, and new approaches for management of the disorder, as well as general knowledge about the disease process. Number of Chapters: 11, Contributors: 27; Figures; 14; Tables;7; Pages; 187
2019 Publication News:
Dry eye disease (DED) is a prevalent complication of diabetes and presents as reduced tear production and/or increased corneal surface sensitivity often with secondary ocular surface changes. This study examined the safety and efficacy of a proprietary new eye drop formulation for topical treatment of DED.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) was established in male Sprague-Dawley rats to study the efficacy and safety of the investigational compound that contained 20 μg/ml of naltrexone (NTX). Tear production was measured by the Schirmer’s 1 test, and ocular surface sensitivity was measured using an aesthesiometer. Diabetic rats received twice daily applications of a single drop (~ 0.02 ml) of the proprietary formulation (NTX-001) or vehicle onto one eye. For comparison, some diabetic rats received eye drops containing NTX in sterile Vigamox®. Safety was monitored by assessment of ocular histopathology in naïve male rats and naïve male rabbits receiving twice daily treatment of two drops for 30 days.
Dry eye in T1D rats was reversed within hours of a single treatment of NTX-001, and over a period of 10 days NTX-001 restored corneal sensitivity and reversed dry eye relative to values measured in diabetic rats receiving vehicle. In comparison to NTX dissolved in Vigamox®, the proprietary NTX-001 was more effective at reversing dry eye. Safety studies in naïve rats and rabbits revealed no visible ocular pathology after 30 days of treatment.
An investigational new eye drop containing 20 μg/ml NTX effectively reversed tear film deficits and restored corneal surface sensitivity in diabetic animals without causing toxic side effects.