News | Mar 19, 2020

VA medical researchers identify new treatment for liver disease

Controls secretin/secretin receptor axis with lysine peptide; patent applications filed, business partner needed

Prior to their examination, mouse liver samples must be encased in wax, sliced, and fixed to a glass slide for viewing. The livers are used in research on liver damage caused by alcohol consumption and other factors.

NIH photo

Three scientists working for the Department of Veterans Affairs have invented a new treatment for liver diseases, including Alcoholic Liver Disease and Primary Biliary Cholangitis.

The research team, led by Dr. Gianfranco Alpinini, director of the Indiana Center for Liver Research, conducted in vivo mouse trials, with results indicating controlled modulation of secretin receptors through the dosage of 15-lysine-secretin (Sec 5-27).

“This data further confirms that modulation of the Sct/SR axis during early and late-stage PBC may ameliorate liver damage associated with this disease,” the researchers wrote in a U.S. patent application published on March 12, 2020.

The Sec 5-27 peptide, administered to human patients as a pharmaceutical compound, could also be used to treat Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, Biliary Atresia, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which the researchers describe as “another alarming public health concern and is now considered the most common liver disease in the Western world.”

Bruce Blaus/Wikimedia

Technology Transfer for Business Development

The U.S. and international patent filings have been submitted by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the funding agency (link to U.S. patent application below).

Through technology transfer agreements, private businesses can now obtain the intellectual property rights to the treatment for the development of life-saving pharmacology.

In collaboration with the VA’s Technology Transfer Program, Gary Bloomer, senior technology manager at TechLink, is assisting qualified companies with evaluating the research and the patent licensing process.

“Some patients are unresponsive to existing treatments,” Bloomer said. “That means there’s an opportunity to create an improved treatment.”

Evaluating and licensing VA technologies starts by contacting Gary Bloomer at or 406-994-7786.