FORT COLLINS, Colorado – May 17, 2017 – A multi-year collaboration between Ventria Bioscience Inc. and Children’s Hospital Colorado has found a novel mechanism of action that enables Ventria’s recombinant human lactoferrin, VEN120, to reduce inflammation in models of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Produced using Ventria’s ExpressTec protein biomanufacturing system, VEN120 enhances the population of anti-inflammatory regulatory T cells, also called Treg cells, modulating the immune response driven by other T cells in the intestinal lining, according to the findings published in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis.
VEN120 is a recombinant form of lactoferrin, a protein in mother’s milk known to promote a healthy gastrointestinal system in infants. Ventria produces VEN120 with its affordable, scalable and safe ExpressTec biomanufacturing technology.
The preclinical study found that orally administered VEN120 reduced inflammation in two separate mouse models of disease, accompanied by increased Treg cells in the intestinal lining (lamina propria). Additional studies using T cells directly also indicated the upregulation of Treg cell populations when treated with VEN120. The data demonstrate a novel immunological mechanism in which VEN120 modulates T cells to control inflammatory T cell-driven disease.
Inflammatory bowel disease is characterized by chronic inflammation in the digestive tract, generally as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Both can cause debilitating diarrhea, pain, fatigue, weight loss and sometimes life-threatening complications. IBD often is first diagnosed in adolescence and becomes a chronic disease through adulthood. An estimated 1.6 million people in the United States and 2.2 million in Europe suffer from IBD, according to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America and the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation.
“These results are encouraging because, if human clinical studies confirm the findings, VEN120 could offer an important new therapy for inflammatory bowel disease. Not only would this proposed treatment be orally administered, but its safety profile also would be a significant improvement versus the standard of care for our patients,” said Edwin F. de Zoeten, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine and Scientific Director–Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Christopher F. MacManus, Ph.D., Research Scientist at Ventria Bioscience Inc. and a co-author on the study, added: “It is exciting to see years of research begin to shed light on an important aspect of how our novel technology may be able to help correct autoimmune disorders like IBD. We look forward to investigating the potential of VEN120 in children and adults with inflammatory bowel disease.”
Citation details for the study discussed in this release:
Ventria Bioscience is a biopharmaceutical company with a product pipeline targeting unmet medical needs. Ventria Bioscience’s proprietary ExpressTec biomanufacturing technology enables the development of new and cost-effective biologic products to treat gastrointestinal and autoimmune diseases. For more information, visit www.Ventria.com..
Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado) has defined and delivered pediatric health care excellence for more than 100 years. Founded in 1908, Children’s Colorado is a leading pediatric network entirely devoted to the health and well-being of children. Continually acknowledged as one of the nation’s outstanding pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and ranked on its Best Children’s Hospitals 2016-17 Honor Roll, Children’s Colorado is known for both its nationally and internationally recognized medical, research, education and advocacy programs, as well as comprehensive everyday care for kids throughout Colorado and surrounding states. Children’s Colorado is the winner of the 2015 American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize, and is a 2013-2016 Most Wired hospital according to Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. Children’s Colorado also is recognized for excellence in nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Centers and has been designated a Magnet® hospital since 2005. The hospital’s family-centered, collaborative approach combines the nation’s top pediatric doctors, nurses and researchers to pioneer new approaches to pediatric medicine. With urgent, emergency and specialty care locations throughout Metro Denver and Southern Colorado, including its campus on the Anschutz Medical Campus, Children’s Colorado provides a full spectrum of pediatric specialties. For more information, visit www.childrenscolorado.org and connect with Children’s Colorado on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.