Avail Biomedical Research Institute

Scientific Excellence and Innovation in Pulmonary Biomedical Research

 

R&D Projects

Asthma

Our major achievement consists in the discovery of several molecular pathways and mechanisms of cell-to-cell interactions through which the asthmatic epithelium orchestrates airway inflammation and drives airway remodeling. Our most recent studies on the mechanisms of airway remodeling in asthma have uncovered the contribution of circulating fibrocytes (bone marrow-derived mesenchymal progenitors) to the progression of structural changes in this disease and have led to the identification of the epithelial cell-derived factors that most likely promote the airway recruitment and local activation of fibrocytes during an acute exacerbation of asthma and in chronically severe, treatment-resistant disease. Taking advantage of our in-house developed methods for the enumeration, isolation and functional analysis of untouched/uncultured circulating fibrocytes in a clinical setting, we have provided evidence that the increased frequency of circulating fibrocytes is a novel biomarker of uncontrolled asthma and may be used to predict therapeutic responsiveness.

Research projects have required the development of an animal model of chronic allergic disease and the invention of in-vitro models for the evaluation of epithelial cell function and effects of epithelium-derived cytokines and growth factors. These models are being used for the discovery of novel therapeutic targets and for testing the efficacy of therapeutic candidates in preclinical studies. Our methods for the isolation of viable circulating fibrocytes have been adopted by the industry and other research institutions to explore the therapeutic potential of fibrocyte-derived products in tissue repair and regeneration, with promising preclinical results and successful completion of proof-of-concept studies in diabetic ulcers by DreiRosen Pharma.      

Pulmonary fibrosis

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a disorder of uncertain etiology, characterized by the progressive destruction of the alveolar-capillary units and a high mortality rate. There is no cure and the available pharmacological treatments can slow the progression of the disease in some cases without reversing or blocking the injury to the gas-exchanging units of the lungs and the resulting fibrogenic reponse. Lung transplantation remains the only possible option in advanced disease and innovative therapeutic solutions are strongly required. Stem cell-derived exosomes exhibit potent anti-apoptotic and anti-fibrotic effects that may be exploited at the therapeutic level to reduce lung injury and stop fibrogenesis. We have been able to isolate clinical grade, fully characterized exosomes from certain stem cell types in large scale and we are currently testing, in preclinical studies, the feasibility of a therapeutic approach based on the delivery of these cell-free biologics in the acute exacerbations of IPF and in advanced disease. Our unique technology for producing stem cell-derived airway epithelial progenitor cells with regenerative potential may also lead to the development of innovative therapeutic solutions in the future.

Intellectual property exploitation

Successful deployment of analytical services based on two proprietary technologies for in-vitro and in-vivo testing of novel therapeutic candidates.

Out-licensing of one of our proprietary technologies for the production of stem cell-derived biologics.

Creation of a spin-off to further develop cell-based therapeutic candidates and obtain final regulatory approval for certain pathological conditions.

 

 

 

 

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