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New Approach to Treatment of Inflammatory Diseases

Chemists of Freie Universität Identify New Class of Active Agents as Anti-inflammatory

№ 16/2009 from Jan 26, 2009

A research group headed by the chemist, Professor Rainer Haag, of Freie Universität has identified a synthetic macromolecular active agent that holds promise for the development of a new approach to the treatment and diagnosis of severe inflammatory diseases. Within the framework of the new Collaborative Research Center 765, supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG), fundamental research is being conducted at Freie Universität  with the aim of learning more about multivalency as a chemical princicple of organization and function. The researchers have identified a new class of active agents on the basis of so-called polygylcerol sulfates (dPGS) that are strongly anti-inflammatory. A patent has been applied for. As part of a license agreement with the patent exploitation agency, ipal GmbH, the mivenion company has acquired the rights for the clinical development.

In spite of their high therapeutic efficacy, the traditional biologics used in the treatment of inflammation have many disadvantages. In addition to the high costs required for their identification and production, it is a major disadvantage that they are effective on only one pathway of inflammation. The synthetic multivalent active agent identified by Rainer Haag and his team of researchers and characterized in collaboration with Dr. Dernedde and Professor Rudolf Tauber of the Institute of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiochemistry, Charité, is effective along more than one pathway. In addition, it is economical to produce and robust.

Professor Haag has applied for a patent for the novel compound class identified by him and his team of researchers. The first publication has just appeared in the scientific journal, Chemical Communications. The pharmaceutical company, mivenion, is aiming to develop the product to clinical phase II. That includes the production of a GMP-compliant test batch of the dPGS, the preclinical development, and phase I trials.

For further information, please contact:

  • Professor Dr. Rainer Haag, Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Chemistry, Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 838-52633, Email: haag@chemie.fu-berlin.de