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Research Partnerships

Ventria Bioscience believes in the strength of scientific collaboration, innovation, and shared commitment to improving human longevity and quality of life. Some of our active and recent partnerships include:

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In 2017, Ventria Bioscience received a $4.2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fund development of efficient biomanufacturing for new therapeutics targeting Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), a leading bacterial cause of diarrhea in the developing world. ETEC accounts for an estimated 280 million to 400 million cases of diarrhea a year in children under five and an estimated 157,000 deaths per year. The bacterial infection also is implicated in travelers’ diarrhea. Ventria will develop potential ETEC treatments using Ventria’s cost-effective, scalable and safe ExpressTec technology.

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Children's Hospital Colorado Children’s Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado School of Medicine

Ventria Bioscience has been engaged in a multi-year collaboration with the research group of Edwin de Zoeten, MD, PhD (Children’s Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado School of Medicine) to investigate the mechanisms by which Ventria’s lead candidate, VEN120—the principal component of which is lactoferrin—reduces inflammation in preclinical models of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). A recent report by the group, VEN-120, a recombinant human lactoferrin, promotes a regulatory T Cell [Treg] phenotype and drives resolution of inflammation in distinct murine models of inflammatory bowel disease, was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis. The study showed that 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.

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Johns Hopkins MedicineJohns Hopkins School of Medicine

Ventria Bioscience is currently engaged in an active clinical research collaboration with Jeremy Walston, MD, and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. This Phase 2, randomized, controlled clinical trial, Effects of rhLactoferrin on Chronic Inflammation in the Elderly (ELCIE),  is designed to investigate how recombinant human lactoferrin (rhLF) produced and purified from rice grain may improve mobility and memory versus placebo in up to 60 older adults with chronic inflammation. The primary outcome measures are the effect of rhLF on serum levels of IL-6 and TNFR (markers of inflammation). The secondary outcome measures include assessments of cognitive decline and physical mobility as well as tolerability and adherence to treatment. The study is currently recruiting participants.

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UC DavisUC Davis

In collaboration with Dr. Bo Lonnerdal at University of California, Davis and Dr. Nelly Zavaleta at Children’s Hospital in Lima, Peru, Ventria Bioscience sponsored a double-blind, randomized controlled clinical study to investigate the ability of ExpressTec-made breastmilk proteins to reduce symptoms in 140 children with acute diarrhea. The study concluded that, when recombinant human lactoferrin and human lysozyme were added to standard oral rehydration solution (ORS), the duration of symptoms decreased by nearly 30% compared to children treated with ORS alone. The study was published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

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University of Minnesota University of Minnesota

Ventria Bioscience has previously collaborated with Jason Baker, MD, MS at the University of Minnesota/Hennepin County Medical Center on a pilot clinical trial, Recombinant Human Lactoferrin to Reduce Immune Activation and Coagulation Among HIV Positive Patients: A pilot study. In this placebo-controlled, crossover design, interventional study, the investigators sought to evaluate the potential effectiveness of oral recombinant human lactoferrin, provided by Ventria Bioscience, for reducing inflammation in 55 otherwise healthy HIV-positive participants (age >40 years) currently responsive to antiretroviral therapy. Primary outcome measures included safety, change in IL-6 & D-dimer score (markers of inflammation) and adherence to treatment. Although the study did not meet the IL-6 & D-dimer score efficacy endpoints, the safety profile of recombinant human lactoferrin was excellent, with high tolerability and no therapy-related adverse events. Overall, the study serves as a model for clinical collaboration using Ventria Bioscience products.