Thrombosis and thromboembolic disorders stand as the leading cause of morbidity and mortality today. Cardiovascular disease alone claims more lives each year than the next 7 leading causes combined. Since its inception, VVP has been relentless in its pursuit of effective anti-thrombotic strategies that will save lives and enhance quality of life for millions that suffer from this devastating disease.
VVP is committed to the search for novel mechanisms that target the pathophysiological process at multiple levels. These modalities act at the level of vascular endothelial cell interactions at sites of vascular damage, activation/stimulation of platelets and platelet aggregation, and activation of the coagulation cascade. Vascular research at VVP involves animal models of acute arterial and venous thrombosis, and pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic readouts for various anti-coagulant and anti-platelet agents alone and in combination with other commonly used drugs.
At VVP, our work in the area of cancer research centers on the role of vascular thrombosis, including platelet activation and activation of the coagulation system, on tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. We are particularly interested in the effects of low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs), platelet antagonists, and their combinations on tumor angiogenesis, growth and metastasis. Tumor-associated thrombosis and fibrin generation can provide a permissive environment for tumor survival in that they can create a barrier to the penetration of chemotherapeutics, thereby promoting chemoresistance. Thus, in important component of cancer research at VVP centers on novel treatments or combination treatments, including targeted drug delivery using our patented nanoformulation, for enhancing uptake of cancer chemotherapeutics.
Retinal angiogenesis is a major cause of vision loss, and a significant contributory factor to diabetic retinopathy, the most common cause of new-vision loss in young people in the US and other industrialized countries. There is a critical need for new therapeutic agents and treatment modalities to prevent retinal angiogenesis. At VVP, we are focused on the identification and characterization of novel protein, small molecule and peptide inhibitors of ocular angiogenesis using several in vitro cellular and animal models of disease, including the murine retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) model.