Surrozen Publishes Study in Nature Communications Demonstrating the Promise of a Fzd4 Wnt Antibody in Treating Ischemic Stroke

  • In a preclinical model of ischemic stroke, systemic delivery of a selective Fzd4 Wnt antibody strongly reduced blood-brain-barrier leakage, death of surrounding brain tissue, tissue swelling, while improving neurologic score
  • Results highlight potential of selective Fzd4 Wnt antibody for central nervous system disorders involving an abnormal blood-brain-barrier

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 05, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Surrozen, Inc. (Nasdaq: SRZN), a company pioneering targeted therapeutics that selectively modulate the Wnt pathway for tissue repair and regeneration, announced today they co-authored a publication with Stanford Medicine and Columbia University scientists in Nature Communications. The results observed with systemic administration of Surrozen’s Frizzled-4 (Fzd4) selective Wnt mimetic antibody in a disease model of ischemic stroke reveal the potential for this novel mechanism of action to reverse blood-brain-barrier (BBB) dysfunctions such as leakage in the surrounding brain tissue, death of surrounding tissue, and tissue swelling while improving neurologic function.

Many central nervous system (CNS) disorders are characterized by abnormal BBB function, including ischemic stroke. Adult ischemic stroke is a serious and prevalent health problem with a substantial incidence of stroke-related death and disability. Treatment options for ischemic stroke in adults are limited to mechanical stenting or pharmacologic therapy with tissue plasminogen activator, although these have limited time windows and hemorrhagic risk. Therefore, there remains a significant need for improved treatment options for people experiencing stroke and other CNS disorders with abnormal BBB function.

The importance of Fzd4 signaling for therapeutic BBB modulation is well known, although successful pharmacologic Fzd4 activation has remained elusive. This publication describes 1) overcoming the challenges of systemic pharmacologic Fzd4 stimulation to develop an optimized, Fzd4 selective –Wnt mimetic antibody, and 2) results from administering this Fzd4 Wnt surrogate (L6-F4-2) in preclinical models of ischemic stroke.

“Today, Stanford Medicine, Surrozen and Columbia University scientists reported results of the administration of a highly optimized Fzd4-selective surrogate that demonstrated systemic pharmacologic efficacy and restored blood-brain-barrier functions in disease models including ischemic stroke,” said Professor Calvin Kuo, MD, Ph.D., Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Stanford Medicine. “This is another important breakthrough in understanding the Wnt pathway and the importance of Fzd4 stimulation as we look to leverage this important pathway in understanding and potentially treating abnormalities of the blood-brain-barrier.”

Yang Li, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Biology at Surrozen, added, “We are thankful to our colleagues who have collaborated on this project. Our deep expertise in Wnt pathway modulation and our flexible and robust technology platform has generated multiple human antibodies that possess either tissue, disease or cell selectivity, enabling us to rapidly develop antibodies to address new understandings of modulating the Wnt pathway. We applied this expertise to develop a Fzd4-selective Wnt mimetic antibody and look forward to further understanding the potential applicability in adult CNS disorders with abnormal blood-brain-barrier function.”

About Wnt Signaling 
Wnt signaling plays key roles in the control of development, homeostasis and regeneration of many essential organs and tissues, including liver, intestine, retina, lacrimal gland, lung, cornea, pancreas, skin and others. Modulation of Wnt signaling pathways has potential for treatment of degenerative diseases and tissue injuries. Surrozen’s platform and proprietary technologies have the potential to overcome the limitations in pursuing the Wnt pathway as a therapeutic strategy.

About Surrozen 
Surrozen is a clinical stage biotechnology company discovering and developing drug candidates to selectively modulate the Wnt pathway. Surrozen is developing tissue-specific antibodies designed to engage the body’s existing biological repair mechanisms with a current focus on inflammatory bowel, severe liver and eye diseases. Please visit for more information. 

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