Background Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is the most common cause of hospitalization for respiratory illness in young children and 90% of children under the age of 2 will be infected by this virus. RSV infection and associated inflammation have also been shown to be a substantial contributing factor in the exacerbation of chronic lung diseases in adults and the elderly. Influenza A virus (IAV) is a worldwide public health problem causing 500,000 deaths each year with the highest death rates among newborns, the elderly and adults with chronic lung diseases.
Technology Dr. Voelker’s lab at National Jewish Health has demonstrated the anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties of unsaturated phosphatidylglycerols (PGs). PGs markedly attenuate pro-inflammatory cytokine production (IL-6, IL8) induced by RSV, and prevent viral replication in human bronchial epithelium. In addition these researchers have shown that PGs prevent the intercellular spreading of the RSV virus, after infection is established. Studies with mice reveal that treatment with PGs at the time of viral challenge dramatically reduces RSV infection.
Further studies by these scientists have also shown that PG attenuates influenza virus induced cytokine production in human bronchial epithelial cells; and intranasal administration of PG suppresses influenza A virus infection in mice.
The Voelker laboratory has also created 4 novel compounds with similar activity to that of PGs. These novel compounds block RSV and influenza A attachment to epithelial cells in vitro without apparent toxicity.
Potential Applications Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), influenza A virus, rhinovirus, sepsis-induced ARDS, asthma, reducing the effects of inflammation during mechanical ventilation, chronic bronchitis, COPD, cystic fibrosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
State of Development The lab is now working on continuous delivery systems for liposomes using aerosol techniques, and will use this method to improve the window of efficacy of the PGs. Four novel compounds are undergoing a toxicology study with a mouse model of RSV infection.
Licensing Status This technology is available for licensing in all fields of use except human therapeutics.
For Further Information, Contact: Emmanuel Hilaire, PhD Director Technology Transfer Office National Jewish Health 1400 Jackson Street, Room M206b Denver, CO 80206 Voice: 303.398.1262 Fax: 303.270.2352 HilaireE@njhealth.org