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J Biomater Sci Polym Ed. 2008;19(8):1047-63. doi: 10.1163/156856208784909345.

Prevention and reduction of scarring in the skin by Transforming Growth Factor beta 3 (TGFbeta3): from laboratory discovery to clinical pharmaceutical.

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Renovo Group plc, Manchester Incubator Building, 48 Grafton Street, Manchester, UK.


Scarring in the skin after trauma, surgery, burn or sports injury is a major medical problem, often resulting in adverse aesthetics, loss of function, restriction of tissue movement and/or growth and adverse psychological effects. Current treatments are empirical and unpredictable, and there are no prescription drugs for the prevention or treatment of dermal scarring. We have investigated the cellular and molecular differences between scar-free healing in embryonic wounds and scar-forming healing in adult wounds. We have identified Transforming Growth Factor beta 3 (TGFbeta3) as a key regulator of the scar-free phenotype in embryonic healing. Exogenous addition of TGFbeta3 to cutaneous wounds in pre-clinical (adult) in vivo models reduces early extracellular matrix deposition and these molecules are deposited with a markedly improved architecture in the neodermis, resembling that of normal skin. This improvement of structural organisation in the healing wound is self-propagating and leads to a reduction of subsequent scarring. TGFbeta3 has completed safety studies and entered human clinical trials. Data from these studies have demonstrated that TGFbeta3 (Juvista) in humans is safe and well tolerated. Acute, local administration of TGFbeta3 (Juvista) significantly reduces dermal scarring in a dose responsive manner resulting in the regeneration of a skin structure that is permanently improved.

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