Biotech startup based on IU School of Medicine research launches to develop therapy for lung disease

  • May 13, 2016


INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University Research and Technology Corp., which advances intellectual property developed at Indiana University so it can be commercialized by industry, has optioned technology to Allinaire Therapeutics that could treat patients affected by lung-related diseases. Allinaire Therapeutics was launched by BioMotiv, a Cleveland-based drug-development accelerator.

Allinaire Therapeutics is a biotechnology startup that aims to develop novel therapeutics for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. The disease is characterized by inflammation and progressive destruction of lung tissue, leading to difficulty in breathing.

The discoveries were made by Dr. Irina Petrache, chief of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at the National Jewish Health Center in Denver, and Matthias Clauss, associate research professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Together, they are Allinaire's scientific founders.

"More than 3.1 million Americans have been diagnosed with emphysema, one of the components of COPD. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 120,000 people in 2015," Clauss said. "Therapeutics currently on the market only address the symptoms of COPD, trying to help people breathe better. The potential of our discovery is to slow down the progression of COPD and perhaps reverse it."

Baiju R. Shah, CEO of BioMotiv, said Petrache and Clauss discovered a novel therapeutic target that plays a role in the lung inflammation and airway remodeling that lead to the disease.

"They have demonstrated that a therapeutic antibody against this target has a strong potential to slow the progression of the disease," Shah said. "We look forward to working with them to advance their discoveries into breakthrough medicines to help patients with COPD and other pulmonary diseases."

About Indiana University Research and Technology Corp.

IURTC is a not-for-profit corporation tasked with the protecting and commercializing of technology emanating from innovations by IU researchers. Since 1997, IU research has generated more than 2,700 inventions resulting in over 3,900 global patent applications being filed by IURTC. These discoveries have generated $133 million in licensing and royalty income, including $111 million in funding for IU departments, labs and inventors.​