New polymer system directly targets inflammation in the digestive system
Researchers at the University of Nebraska have found a way to improve the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
The new therapy is based on an improved version of chloroquine, a traditional malaria treatment with potent anti-inflammatory properties. Taking chloroquine systemically for long periods of time can cause negative side effects, including irreversible retina damage and hearing loss. But UNMC’s new chloroquine-based polymers directly target inflammation within the digestive system, harnessing chloroquine’s anti-inflammatory effects while minimizing side effects.
The digestive system does not actively absorb the chloroquine-based polymers because they are so large. Instead, the polymers are localized within the digestive tract where they can have a direct effect and maximum impact on inflammatory bowel disease.
The chloroquine-based polymers can also be used to package and deliver other drugs to help treat inflammatory bowel disease.
Initial animal studies have been conducted demonstrating localization of orally administered chloroquine-based polymers to the digestive tract.
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