This invention offers
a new method to prevent and treat sepsis.
Sepsis, also known as
systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), is a serious medical condition.
It is caused by sustained or dysregulated integrin activation, which result in
abnormal neutrophil trafficking, and subsequently, widespread inflammation,
blood clotting, organ failure and tissue damage. It occurs in 1 - 2% of all
hospitalizations and accounts for as much as 25% of intensive-care unit (ICU)
bed utilization. It is a major cause of death in intensive-care units worldwide,
with mortality rates that range from 20% for sepsis to 40% for severe sepsis to
>60% for septic shock. Current treatment for severe sepsis solely depends on
the recombinant human activated protein C (rhAPC). However, the mechanism of its
function remains debatable. It also has severe adverse effect, such as bleeding.
This new protein is a proprietary recombinant human activated protein for a more
potent and better-targeted anti-sepsis therapy, developed by Dr. Minsoo Kim at
University of Rochester. The protein binds to neutrophil integrins at high
affinity at sites of infection and thereby reduces the neutrophil migration
during sepsis that is responsible for the organ malfunction usually responsible
for the mortality associated with sepsis.
Currently, rhAPC is
the only FDA-approved drug to treat severe sepsis. However, the mechanism of its
function remains controversial. The severe adverse effect, bleeding, linked to
it anticoagulant functions, has limited its use in many needed patients. Unlike
rhAPC, the proprietary rhAPC covered here has higher affinities for neutrophil
integrins and thus better confine the neutrophils to the site of infection to
prevent and/or treat sepsis.