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Biodegradable nano- and meso-polymer particles for protecting the pulmonary surfactant of the lung

Organization name

TransMIT Gesellschaft für Technologietransfer mbH


Product description

Pathogenic proteins reduce the surfactant protein in the lung and thus cause an increase of the surface tension. As a consequence, tight junctions between lung cells are destroyed. The resulting elevated pressure in the lung leads to severe respiratory problems.

This innovation concerns biocompatible polymeric nano-, meso-and micro-polymer particles which are able to bind pathogenic proteins that penetrate into the lining layer of the lung. These particles can be used for the prevention and treatment of lung diseases which are associated with an increased lung surface tension and a damage of the pulmonary surfactant.

Here, biologically degradable polymeric nanoparticles with positive charge intercept pathogenic proteins. These particles are furthermore smaller than or equal to 250 nm, which means that they can be degraded by lung macrophages. The surfactant of the lungs can subsequently regenerate, i.e. the surface tension is reduced and tight junctions are restored.

Unique selling points

The interception of pathogenic proteins is based on a size effect (in comparison to the lung surfactant), electrostatic interactions and an entropy/enthalpy effect, which allows for the first time an efficient protection or even regeneration of the lung surfactant.

Market potential

The market potential for this innovation can be deduced from the total number of patients affected by acute lung injuries or severe acute respiratory syndrome. The achievable patient number amounts to 0.5 million cases per year in the EU, North America and Japan. Due to the severity of the disease, the high death rate, and a lack of alternative treatment concepts can be assumed that the new technology will be well established in the market.

This results in a potential market volume of up to 1 billion Euros per year.

State of product development

A proof of principle with nano-, meso-or micro-polymer particles of this invention in a surfactant - damage model could be provided as part of a validation project within the scope of a grant provided by the fund for refinement and exploitation of patents of the state universities of Hesse.

The next step would be the development of the medical product until approval with an industry partner.

Patent status

Pending patents exist for EP, USA, CA and JP.

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