Equine Alpha-2 Macroglobulin Safety Study and Clinical Observations
Alpha-2 Macroglobulin is a unique treatment of cartilage-based pathology and inflammatory arthritides. A proprietary kit has been developed and FDA approved in the human market. α2M can not only inhibit the associated inflammatory cascade but also disrupt the catabolic process of cartilage degeneration. α2M is a major plasma glycoprotein best known for its ability to inhibit a broad spectrum of serine, threonine and metalloproteases by a unique bait and trap method.
The goal of this study was to showcase the use of the Astaria Global proprietary kit (Alpha2EQ) system to concentrate equine α2M and utilize it in a variety of orthopedic issues, thus saving time, money and reducing risks associated with alternative treatments.
A pilot project utilizing four non-lame recipient mares was performed. Based on the pilot project results, the clinical study was performed as a multi-clinic study. Five equine hospitals participated in the study and each contributed patients for evaluation of safety as well as clinical response. No controls were utilized, and the results are reported only as reaction to injection and positive or negative clinical response.
Alpha macroglobulins are large glycoproteins which are present in the body fluids of both invertebrates and vertebrates.
Alpha-2-macroglobulin (a2M), a key member of alpha macroglobulin superfamily, is a high-molecular weight homotetrameric glycoprotein. a2M has many diversified and complex functions, but it is primarily known by its ability to inhibit a broad spectrum of proteases without the direct blockage of the protease active site. a2M is also known to be involved in the regulation, transport, and a host of other functions. For example, apart from inhibiting proteinases, it regulates binding of transferrin to its surface receptor, binds defensin and myelin basic protein, etc., binds several important cytokines, including basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), nerve growth factor (NGF), interleukin-1b (IL-1b), and interleukin-6 (IL-6), and modify their biological activity. a2M also binds a number of hormones and regulates their activity. a2M is said to protect the body against various infections, and hence, can be used as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of a number of diseases. However, this multipurpose antiproteinse is not ‘‘fail safe’’ and could be damaged by reactive species generated endogenously or exogenously, leading to various pathophysiological conditions.