Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the leading cause of death from gastrointestinal disease in preterm infants. NEC is characterized by the development of intestinal necrosis,
systemic sepsis, and multi organ failure. NEC develops in 2 out of 1000 live births. It affects 20% of premature babies and is fatal in nearly half of all cases. The typical baby with NEC is a premature infant who is doing well initially, then becomes rapidly sick and dies within 24 hours. When these patients undergo surgery, most of the intestines have died. Existing treatments for NEC are largely inadequate. Clearly novel approaches are needed to prevent and/or treat NEC.
This technology describes the identification of a novel switch called Toll Like Receptor- 4 (TLR- 4), which when activated leads to NEC. Tolllike receptor 4 (TLR-4) is involved in pathogen recognition and plays a role in the activation of the innate immune response. In addition to the treatment or prevention of NEC, TLR-4 antagonists are of clinical interest in situations where the immune response is overwhelming for instance in sepsis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, autoimmune diseases, ischemic and traumatic injuries.
Investigators have identified a novel TLR-4 antagonist to treat NEC which is highly effective in animal models. This antagonist is also effective in other TLR4-mediated diseases including trauma and hemorrhagic shock.
* Infectious or inflammatory disorders
* Ischemic and traumatic injuries to organs
* Irritable disorder
* Can be used in combination with other therapies
* Oral or intravenous administration
* Natural molecule with low toxicity
Stage of Development
In vivo data available in animal models of NEC, colitis, trauma, hemorrhagic shock.
PCT Patent Application filed