News | Mar 29, 2019

5 new medical technologies for treating inflammatory bowel disease

VA funded medical research is available for commercial development

New medical research on treating inflammatory bowel diseases is available to health care companies for product development.

In coordination with the Department of Veterans Affairs, TechLink is guiding innovative businesses through licensing agreements for the following technologies.

The partnership intermediary agreement between the VA and TechLink, which started last month, aims to give health care companies smooth access to VA licensing opportunities, helping them deliver new treatments to patients, said Gary Bloomer, a senior technology manager at TechLink who is facilitating for interested companies.

“Whether it’s Crohn’s or colitis, IBD can really alter people’s lives, but we can help curb the impact by delivering these promising, VA funded research projects into the hands of capable companies,” Bloomer said.

Bowel anti-inflammatory and colorectal cancer therapeutic

This novel treatment regime for colorectal cancer and IBD is composed of an anti-inflammatory tri-peptide (Lys-Pro-Val or KPV) that targets PepT1. This particular tri-peptide, which is derived from alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and to effectively reduce chemically induced colitis in mice.

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Novel ulcerative colitis screening tool

VA funded medical researchers have identified a screening method using the biomarker mannose as distinguishing colitic from the non-colitic samples and controls. The screening technique includes the testing of blood serum using Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy for the detection of mannose. ATR-FTIR is sensitive to the bond vibrations of the molecular composition of the sample and requires minimal sample preparation.

This fast, simple blood test for ulcerative colitis using infrared spectroscopy could provide a cheaper, less invasive alternative for screening compared to colonoscopy, which is now the predominant test.

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Inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer therapeutic delivery system

A medical research team has developed biodegradable nanoparticle (NP) vehicles that have little or no associated toxicity. The vehicle is assembled such that a targeting agent (an antibody or fragment, ligand, receptor, chemoattractant agent, extracellular matrix protein) is associated with the NP, thereby forming a core structure. The core is encapsulated in a hydrogel.

These vehicles can be used to target TNFα with siRNAs for the treatment of bowel diseases such as colitis and colon cancer. With the targeting agent improving the kinetics of endocytosis as well as the ability of the NP to target a given cell (such as a macrophage or cancer cell) the NPs can enter cellular targets by endocytosis. The resulting endosome is degraded, allowing the release of the double-stranded RNAs delivered by the constructs and their incorporation into the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC).

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One-step, label-free system for detection and direct quantification of microRNAs

Building on advancements in electrochemical sensors and incorporation of nanoelectrodes in sensor fabrication, VA funded scientists have developed a one-step, label-free miRNA sensor based on a redox current reporter and a nucleic acid sequence complementary to that of the target.

The sensing unit is bound to an electroconductive substrate and includes a signal amplification mechanism that does not rely upon a redox enzyme. In this manner, it overcomes a fundamental limitation of microelectrode DNA sensors that fail to generate detectable current in the presence of only small amounts of a target nucleic acid.

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Carbon monoxide therapy for cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases

VA funded researchers have developed a method to generate carbon monoxide-releasing molecules (CORMs) in the body with little or no toxicity and without the need for external stimuli.

In this approach, CO is produced from the reaction between the dienone tetraphenylcyclopentadienone (TPCPD) and the strained alkyne bicyclononyne. The molecules can be synthesized prior to administration or formed after administration to a patient. The reaction results in a stable, metal free, water-soluble, release of CO under physiological conditions.

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Headshot Image of Gary Bloomer, CLP

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