BASF to Develop a New Copolymer for Mast Therapeutics

October 13, 2015

BASF will develop a higher-purity version of poloxamer 188 for Mast Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company.

Mast Therapeutics announced on Oct. 13, 2015 that the company will partner with BASF for the development of a higher-purity version of poloxamer 188, a material that is widely used in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry as a cryoprotectant and as a culture additive used to reduce shear force and reseal plasma membranes. The biopharmaceutical company is named for its platform, the molecular adhesion and sealant technology (MAST) platform.

Although poloxamer 188 is the “starting material for Mast’s lead product candidate,” according to a press release from Mast, BASF will produce an even higher-quality product for Mast to use in large quantities for further studies. The copolymer is said to work by repairing tissue and damaged cell membranes after trauma or injury. Although Mast and BASF did not reveal the specific therapeutic targets for the enhanced copolymer, Mast revealed that another second-generation poloxamer called vepoloxamer is currently being tested for the treatment of sickle-cell disease. Vepoloxamer is being developed for its efficacy in repairing cell membranes and for conditions “characterized by microvascular blood flow,” according to the release, where small branches of the arteries become damaged and blood flow is impaired as a result.

“The work we are doing with Mast is one of the examples of our collaborations with pharmaceutical companies to develop high-purity poloxamer compounds for a variety of applications for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology value chains,” said Daniele Piergentilli, head of global marketing and R&D at BASF Pharma Ingredients and Services.

Source: Mast Therapeutics