Industry: Infectious Disease


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Lead Inventor:

Charitharth (Vivek) Lal, M.D.
Department of Pediatrics, UAB


Treatment of acute and chronic lung diseases


  • Treatment targets common causes of lung diseases and addresses an unmet need
  • Applicable to chronic lung disease in adults, children, and infants (including pre-term)
  • Novel and alternative approach to treating lung disease


Bronchopulmonary dysplasia, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and acute respiratory distress syndrome are chronic lung diseases that affect patients from infancy to old age. Together these respiratory diseases effect greater than 25 million Americans each year. The common problem in all these respiratory conditions is inflammation, initiated by injury to the lung by early neutrophil influx, followed by a persistent inflammatory process and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling, resulting in impaired lungs. University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researchers have recently discovered that airways are not sterile even at birth but are occupied by a diverse microbiome, and that the airway microbiome is altered during the development of lung disease. These investigators have proposed a paradigm shifting and innovative inhaled probiotic therapy for treatment of lung diseases to inhibit inflammation and restore lung function.

Technology Summary

Researchers at UAB have established that the tripeptide N-acetyl proline-glycine-proline (Ac-PGP) derived from ECM breakdown plays a critical role in various adult chronic lung diseases by enhancing neutrophilic inflammation and endothelial permeability. They have also discovered that bacteria, specifically of the genus Lactobacillus, inhibit Ac-PGP release and prevent the inflammatory cascade caused by neutrophil influx both in vitro and in animal models of chronic lung disease. They propose that inhaled probiotic therapy by nebulization or metered dose inhalation using a formulation that would include various Lactobacillus species (live or heat-inactivated) would provide an alternative treatment and address an unmet need to restore and improve lung function for people with acute or chronic lung disease.

Patent Status: International Patent Application No. PCT/US2018/025989 filed April 4, 2018
Developmental Status: Pre-clinical studies
Reference No.: UABRF IPD No. U2017-0002
Key Publication: Lal, CV, Travers, C, Aghai, ZH, Eipers, P., Jilling, T, Halloran, B, Carlo, WA, Keeley, J., Rezonzew, G., Kumar, R., Morrow, C, Bhandari, V, and Ambalavanan, N. "The Airway Microbiome at Birth," Sci. Rep. 6 (2016):31023