Epidarus Therapeutics is a company that specializes in plant-based therapeutics, with a focus on isolating natural compounds that regulate the breakdown of hyaluronic acid in the body. Hyaluronic acid is a crucial component of the extracellular matrix in various tissues, including the skin, cartilage, and synovial fluid. Epidarus Therapeutics' innovative approach to plant-based research has the potential to improve the health and well-being of people suffering from conditions such as Rosacea.
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Damage-associated Molecular Patterns (DAMPS)
In addition to its structural roles, HA serves as a sophisticated information system, directing new blood vessel growth, cell movement and recruitment of immune cells to damaged tissues. The beneficial properties of HA are highly dependent on chain length and on maintenance of a delicate balance between HA synthesis and its degradation by Hyaluronidases. Long chains of intact High Molecular Weight HA (HMW-HA) are immunosuppressive and maintain normal cell and tissue metabolism. However, small Low Molecular Weight HA (LMW-HA) fragments, generated by Hyaluronidases act as Damage Associated Molecular Patterns (DAMPS). They are highly angiogenic, immunostimulatory and inflammatory.
DAMPS are molecular danger signals that communicate to the innate immune system by interacting with pattern recognition receptors. They form an important component of the surveillance system through which cells and tissues can activate host responses to damaged or dying cells or to infection. Small HA oligosaccharides (generally 4–16 sugar units) are powerful activators of cells of the innate immune system, such as, dendritic cells, macrophages and mast cells.
Excessive production of LMW-HA, particularly by action of the Hyaluronidase enzyme, HYAL1, is seen in a host of diseases and is also a hallmark of aging. These fragments generate the constant, inappropriate immune stimulation seen in senescent skin, osteoarthritic joints and chronic inflammatory conditions like Rosacea and Bladder Interstitial Cystitis.
At Epidarus, we believe that by targeting HYAL-1, we can intervene in this cycle to treat chronic inflammation and to reverse the age-related loss of structural HA in the skin.