Targeting Fibroblast Invasion for Pulmonary Fibrosis

Tech ID: nob000901



Progressive tissue fibrosis is a major cause of morbidity, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a terminal illness characterized by unremitting extracellular matrix deposition in the lungs with very limited choice of therapies. IPF is the most common form of fibrotic lung disease with a prevalence of 14.0–42.7 cases per 100,000 individuals in the United States and a median survival of 2.5–3.5 yr. Examples of non-medication based interventions for IPF include pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, mechanical ventilation, and lung transplantation. Of these treatments, the only intervention that improves survival in select patients with IPF is lung transplantation. However, lung transplantation is not without significant risks, including infection, given the need for immunosuppression, acute and chronic graft rejection, and airway stenosis.


Technology Description

• A fraction of lung fibroblasts are invasive in patients with IPF. Dr. Noble and colleagues have identified invasive fibroblasts characterized by cell surface markers and transcription factor expression levels.


• The flow-cytometric-enriched invasive fibroblasts can be used with their parental cells in drug screening to identify novel compounds that can kill highly invasive clones with minimal impact to these parental cells and normal lung fibroblasts.


• The invasive fibroblast clones can be used as antigens to immunize mice and generate therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.



Identified the population of cells causing disease and enabled targeted drug discovery.



Well-characterized IPF Invasive fibroblasts can be used as tool to identify therapeutic compounds or generate monoclonal antibodies to reduce invasiveness of fibroblasts.


Intellectual Property

US utility patent 15/761,404 pending.


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Wenyue Du
Senior Associate - IP Management & Licensing
Paul Noble
Dianhua Jiang
Carol Liang
Drug Discovery/Screening
Inflammatory Disorders