Telios Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced Thursday that it hasbeen awarded a $500,000, Phase II small business innovationresearch (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health(NIH) to aid in the development of decorin for treating scarringdue to fibrotic diseases of internal organs and injuries of theskin.

Decorin is a recombinantly produced version of a humanproteoglycan that is normally found in cartilage, skin and otherextracellular matrices. It's known to be a natural inhibitor oftransforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), a factor that hasbeen implicated as an important component of the scarringprocess.

Telios (NASDAQ:TLIO) has been developing the compound as atreatment for diseases associated with excessive extracellularmatrix production, such as diabetic nephropathy, pulmonaryfibrosis and liver cirrhosis.

Telios of San Diego is currently conducting preclinical studies ofdecorin in models of a variety of fibrotic conditions. In fact,researchers from Telios, the University of Utah and the La JollaCancer Research Center reported in the journal Nature lastNovember that decorin prevents scarring in animals withkidney disease. -- Jennifer Van Brunt

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