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Prophylactic treatment of human enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC)
The Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) seeks to commercialize through patent licensing a prophylactic treatment (before infection) for diarrhea caused by ETEC. ETEC is commonly referred to as Travelers’ Diarrhea which is a common health problem among travelers visiting tropical and less developed countries and children living in those countries.
Presently, ETEC infections are treated with costly antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin, anti-diarrheals, or oral rehydration. These treatments do not provide prophylactic protection, but must be used after infection has occurred. Antibiotic treatment methods pose problems, such as side-effects, drug resistance, drug sensitivity and allergies. Additionally, there is no currently licensed ETEC vaccine in the US or the EU for prevention of Traveler’s Diarrhea. Until an effective vaccine is available, there is a need for an effective prophylactic treatment such as passive, oral administration of immunoglobulins.
This invention covers a pharmaceutical composition composed of milk immunoglobulin that will block the attachment of ETEC to the intestine. ETEC produce disease by attaching themselves to the cells lining the small intestine and releasing a toxin that causes diarrhea and abdominal cramps. If the ETEC cannot attach, the disease will be prevented. Also covered is a method to make the immunoglobulin, by collecting ETEC antiadhesin antibodies in the milk of vaccinated domestic animals such as cows. Taken as a pill or supplement, the milk antibodies are capable of providing prophylactic protection against an ETEC infection.
- Provides a prophylactic for ETEC infections, a principal cause of Traveler’s Diarrhea
- Avoids the costs, side-effects and drug resistance problems of antibiotic treatments
- A large, global market exists with 631 million episodes and 775,000 deaths/year (Institute of Medicine, 1986)
- United States Patent Application, Publication No. US 2006/0269560 and corresponding International Publication Number WO/2006/127798, are available for license.
- Further joint development with the US Navy is possible under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreemen (CRADA).
- Additional scientific publications, an overview of the licensing process, and an interview with the inventor,
are available through TechLink.