The Use of Lumican as an Inflammation Modulator

This technology identifies an extra-cellular matrix protein, lumican, that plays a role in the inflammation pathway. This protein is present in the skin, cornea, intestines and blood vessels, and modulates its action through cell surface signaling molecules. Mice deficient in lumican have are resistant to bacterial lipopolysacharide (LPS) mediated septic shock and death. Synthetic peptides containing amino acid sequences from lumican could be used to modulate inflammatory responses in various types of wounds. Background Many biological processes affect the host?s ability to recognize pathogens, mount an innate immune response and release cytokines. Identification of proteins regulating these biological pathways is necessary for the development of therapeutic tools. These novel therapies might involve methods that modulate extra-cellular matrix proteins such as lumican, which specifically bind to bacterial endotoxins and regulate inflammatory responses. Description (Set) Johns Hopkins University is seeking licensees for innovative therapeutic methods and agents for modulating inflammation. Innate immunity is a primitive defense mechanism in barrier tissues to detect and destroy invading pathogens. JHU scientists made the surprising discovery that extracellular matrix proteins have roles in pathogen defense. A protein known as lumican can regulate inflammatory responses and bind to bacterial endotoxins that cause sepsis. Lumican is localized in the cornea, skin, vascular walls and airway linings. JHU scientists found that lumican-deficient mice are resistant to bacterial toxin-mediated septic shock suggesting that therapeutic methods and agents to modulate lumican activity could regulate inflammatory responses. Lumican-deficient mice also display delayed wound healing in skin and cornea. Lumican is a potential candidate gene for identifying patients with predisposition to sepsis and chronic inflammation, and a target for therapeutic interventions. Manipulation of lumican activity could be useful to reduce septic shock and bacterial infections, and also to speed the inflammatory process to promote wound healing.
• Lumican is not categorized with known antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs and could provide alternative therapeutics for patients sensitive to antibiotics, steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
• Treatment with lumican-derivatives may increase host innate immune response to quickly eliminate a bacterial infection, reduce patient suffering and minimize tissue damage.
• Treatment with lumican based therapies may block a wide range of inflammatory cytokines activity to provide general immune protection. Proposed Use (Set) This technology can be commercialized as a therapeutic method and kits for treating bacterial infections and sepsis. Modulation of lumican activity could be commercialized as methods and agents to speed wound healing, such as therapeutics for slow healing diabetic or corneal wounds and ulcers.

Inventor(s): Chakravarti, Shukti

Type of Offer: Licensing

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