University of Alabama at Birmingham clinician and pulmonary biologist Charitharth Vivek Lal, M.D., FAAP, has founded a new cardio-respiratory health innovation platform company, ResBiotech. The company will focus on the invention, creation and monetization of medical technologies to solve major health challenges.
ResBiotech’s first product will be ResBiotic, a proprietary personalized anti-inflammatory probiotic developed by Lal’s Pulmonary Microbiome Lab at UAB. ResBiotic, currently in preclinical development, will be given as a wellness supplement and pharmacobiotic drug therapy for respiratory illnesses in people of all ages.
Respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, cystic fibrosis, asthma, acute respiratory distress syndrome and bronchopulmonary dysplasia affect more than 20 million people in the United States. Together, they form a $50 billion market with a 5 percent compound annual growth rate.
“My vision,” Lal said, “is to see ResBiotech serve as an incubator and accelerator company, for launching state-of-the-art cardio-respiratory technologies developed organically and from around the world. ResBiotech will revolutionize lung disease treatments through novel approaches to patient care.”
The company was recently launched in collaboration with UAB’s Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which manages university intellectual property.
Lal, an associate professor in the UAB Department of Pediatrics, will serve as the chief scientific officer of ResBiotech.
The initial Scientific Advisory Board for ResBiotech features national and international experts in the field of cardio-respiratory biology. They include Casey Morrow, Ph.D., professor emeritus in the UAB Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology; Namasivayam Ambalavanan, M.D., the Virginia Walker Jones Chair and Professor of Pediatrics at UAB; and Amit Gaggar, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the UAB Department of Medicine’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine.
Sanjay Singh, Ph.D., a Birmingham entrepreneur who previously served on the UAB faculty for 20 years, is the strategic business adviser for ResBiotech. “ResBiotech will be an innovation, investment and commercialization vehicle, with access to world-class researchers and facilities locally,” Singh said. “I foresee ResBiotech positioned to become a national leader in the cardio-respiratory innovation industry, one that could revolutionize patient care in the future.”
The Birmingham Business Alliance, or BBA, has been working closely with Lal for over a year to ensure a seamless launch of the company. Jonathan Nugent, vice president of Innovation and Technology at BBA, said, “There is continued and widespread interest in state-of-the-art health care innovation. Dr. Lal’s vision, coupled with support from UAB and local stakeholders, could prove to be path-breaking for Birmingham, and Alabama as a whole. Part of my motivation to get involved with ResBiotech is to further accelerate the maturity of the health sciences environment built at UAB and in Birmingham.”
“It’s exciting to see research born in the university spin out and grow in Birmingham, as our ecosystem is poised for cultivating innovative concepts,” said Kathy Nugent, Ph.D., executive director of the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UAB.
In addition to his work and research at UAB, Lal serves on the board of directors for Urgent Care for Children, a fast-growing, physician-owned pediatric urgent care provider, with six clinics across Alabama and a seventh opening this month.