Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive life-threatening inflammatory lung disease characterized by chronic bronchitis (inflamed airways) and emphysema (irreversible lung tissue destruction). It is the most prevalent chronic lung disease, affecting more than 300 million people worldwide and is the 3rd leading cause of death globally. The prevalence of COPD is set to rise due to worsening air pollution, increased smoking and an aging population.
Currently, the existing treatment options such as bronchodilators or corticosteroids only relieve disease symptoms but do not control lung tissue damage or stop disease progression. Hence, there is an urgent unmet medical need to develop effective therapies for COPD. The technology developed would be able to halt COPD disease progression.
The current invention relates to a protein therapeutic that can quench lung inflammation by inducing cell death of lung alveolar macrophages, the main airway immune cells responsible for COPD. The protein therapeutic binds to a receptor on the macrophage to trigger apoptosis. The reduction in macrophage cell number in the lung facilitates the recovery of lung function.
Pulmonary delivery of this protein has been demonstrated to block COPD progression and restore lung function in chronic cigarette smoke-induced COPD mice.
Additional studies are being done to evaluate the efficacy of the protein therapeutic in other lung inflammatory diseases such as asthma and fibrosis.
Priority patent filed in March 2018.
COPD is a chronic inflammatory lung disease. Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, accumulation of mucus and wheezing. Current treatment options only provide relief of the disease symptoms. Our technology stops disease progression, thereby resulting in improvement in quality of life.