San Diego’s InflammaGen Advances Therapy to Mitigate Effects of Shock

3/12/12Follow @bvbigelow

After completing some promising pre-clinical studies, San Diego’s InflammaGen Therapeutics says it is raising additional capital, as it moves to mid-stage trials of an experimental treatment that’s intended to prevent multi-organ failure in patients suffering acute shock.

InflammaGen has “almost closed” on a $2.5 million round of Series A financing, according to CEO John Rodenrys. The seed-stage startup also signed a partnership recently with ChinaBio, a firm based in San Diego, Shanghai, and Palo Alto, CA, that provides consulting, banking, and other services for life sciences companies interested in doing business in China. The life sciences startup also is in discussions with two pharmaceutical companies that are interested in helping InflammaGen commercialize its technology, Rodenrys says. He declined to identify the companies, saying both discussions are covered by non-disclosure agreements.

As I reported last year, InflammaGen has been developing technology conceived by Geert Schmid-Schönbein, a professor of bioengineering at UC San Diego. Schmid-Schönbein suggests that powerful digestive enzymes secreted in the small intestine by the pancreas are largely responsible for “the inflammatory cascade” of life-threatening events that can occur in cases of acute shock. These events typically build up over time, and often lead to multi-organ failure and death.

Geert Schmid-Schönbein (courtesy UCSD)

Shock typically occurs in cases of traumatic injury, including burns, chemical exposure, extreme cold, and infections—and one hallmark is a dramatic drop in blood pressure.

Schmid-Schönbein has shown that when blood pressure plummets in laboratory rats, the epithelial cell barrier lining the inside of the small intestine becomes permeable—allowing digestive enzymes to pass through the intestinal wall. Once through, the enzymes are carried into … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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  • Thomas Ichim

    An excellent article on a fresh approach to sepsis !