Diabetic Wound Healing Through Pharmacological Activation of NRF2.

Technology #ua16-108

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Georg Wondrak
Associate Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology
Donna Zhang
Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology
Managed By
Kaitlyn Norman

Title: Diabetic Wound Healing Through Pharmacological Activation of NRF2


Invention: The technology presented identifies a series of lead compounds amenable to pharmaceutical development of NRF2 activation to enhance diabetic wound healing. In particular, the present invention demonstrates the potential for wound healing with both systemic and/or topical administration of the disclosed natural products. This invention explores the impaired response to cellular oxidative stress as a core pathway to organ fibrosis.


Background: Chronic non-healing skin ulcers are a major cause of disability and mortality in the diabetic population. In diabetic wounds, intrinsic pathophysiological abnormalities (reduced blood supply, angiogenesis, impaired wound contraction and matrix turnover) and extrinsic factors (infection and repeated trauma) lead to delayed and aberrant wound healing processes. Furthermore, many studies have identified that chronic oxidative stress is associated with the progression of diabetic complications and impaired wound healing. The redox-sensitive transcription factor NRF2 (nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2), has been identified as an attractive drug target for many human diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, liver cirrhosis, diabetes and wound healing. Recent studies have demonstrated the protective role of NRF2 and the potential therapeutic effect of NRF2 activators, SF and CA (natural products) in a diabetic nephropathy animal model. This technology has the potential to fulfill an unmet need by presenting this function of NRF2 for the first time.



  • Diabetic patients



  • Potential to reduce the number of diabetic patients requiring treatment of healing wounds
  • Improves the quality of life for millions of individuals needing both acute and chronic wound management
  • Sets the basis for clinical assessment and application of NRF2 activators by preventing and treating diabetic skin ulcers
  • Addresses unmet medical needs
  • Possesses multifactorial therapeutic benefits
  • Measures wound temperature with infrared thermography to predict the healing outcome


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Rakhi Gibbons


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