Project name: Synthetic Anti-Inflammatory Peptides From Lactoferrin for the Treatment of Inflammation-associated Fibrosis
Principal researcher name: Dr. Amiram Ariel
Invention area: Medical biotech
Background: Macrophages are specialized immune cells involved in the healing process following inflammatory insults. Macrophage bioactivity can promote the natural resolution of inflammation and return to normal tissue function. However, it can also result in tissue fibrosis and irreversible damage to the affected organ. The exact outcome of the inflammatory process depends on the mediators secreted by macrophages during its resolution. Lactoferrin (Lf) is a host defense protein found in milk, colostrum, saliva, tears, mucus secretions and leukocyte granules. Lf possess anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-parasite, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities. Nutraceutical products of lactoferrin are marketed as food supplements.
We believe that Lf-derived peptides generated by macrophages can promote non-fibrotic healing and prevent fibrosis in various organs (i.e. liver, lung, kidney, skin etc).
Results: Macrophages acquire Lf from apoptotic neutrophils during the resolution of inflammation and process it to shorter fragments.
Different Lf fragments associate with the onset and resolving phases of inflammation in murine and bovine models of inflammation.
A 17 kDa fragment of Lf is associated with the resolution of inflammation and contains 2 immuno-modulatory peptides.
One of these peptides induces an anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic mediator secretion profile from human macrophages.
Advantages: This project addresses a novel molecular target that has not been previously described. This novel agent and the signaling pathway it triggers are perceived as novel therapeutic modules for tissue fibrosis- a pathology that is not adequately addressed by currently marketed drugs.
Usage: The developed end product is expected to serve as a treatment for debilitating inflammatory and fibrotic disorders, such as autoimmune disorders, sepsis, lung, liver, kidney, and skin fibrosis.
Carmel Ltd. is looking for potential partners and/or investors in this area. Please Contact us for further information.