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Prevention of lung injury associated with acute necrotizing pancreatitis

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Partner keyword: 
Emergency medicine
Medical Research
Pharmaceutical Products / Drugs
Therapeutic services
Pulmonary medicine
Emergency medicine
Research and experimental development on biotechnology


A Spanish public research institution has found the potential of polyethylene glycol on reducing the severity of acute necrotizing pancreatitis and associated lung injury, thus minimizing the systemic inflammatory response. Companies interested in patent licensing and/or in a research collaboration for the development of its application are sought.



Acute pancreatitis, a sudden inflammatory disorder of the pancreas, is the leading cause of hospitalization for gastrointestinal diseases. Up to 20% of patients develop acute necrotizing pancreatitis (ANP), the more aggressive form, which is associated with local and systemic complications. These systemic complications are the cause of the substantial morbidity and mortality rates in ANP, especially for the lung injury that accounts for 60% of all deaths within the first week.
At present, there is no specific medical treatment for ANP. The management of the disease is mainly supportive and targeted to prevent and treat systemic complications.
Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) are non-immunogenic, non-toxic and watersoluble polymers. These properties render the polymer ideally suited for biological applications.
PEG of 35-kDa molecular weight (PEG35) has been tested in vivo in an experimental model of ANP in rats. Its prophylactic administration abrogated ANP-associated local and systemic inflammatory process. Notably, therapeutic treatment directly lowered the lung injury regardless of the pancreatic lesion.
The Spanish research group, with a broad experience in experimental pathology, is searching for a pharmaceutical company interested in the development and commercialization of PEG35 for ANP treatment, under a license agreement. Preclinical and clinical development would be required. The Spanish research center could collaborate with the company in that project.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
• PEG35 has shown capacity to strongly reduce the severity of ANP and ameliorate the associated lung failure, the main contributing factor to early death in patients with this condition. • PEG35 exerts an anti-inflammatory role in ANP by downregulating pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL6, IL1β, TNF-alfa) and chemokines (CXCL2), adhesion molecules (P-selectin and ICAM1), as well as neutrophil infiltration. • PEG35 protects against inflammation-induced cell death in ANP. • PEG35 could be a promising tool for the modulation of the progression of ANP towards a lethal outcome.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Under development/lab tested

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
Pharmaceutical company interested in the development and commercialization of PEG for the applications reported under a license agreement are sought. -Licensing agreement: the partner would license the technology to perform clinical assays, obtain all regulatory certifications and commercialize the product. -Research cooperation agreement: the partner and the institution could undertake a joint effort to perform preclinical assays.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500