Ventria Bioscience and UC-Denver awarded grant to study acetaminophen overdose-induced liver failure

By: Steve Tuesday September 4, 2012 Tags: Cynthia Ju, Scott Deeter, Ventria Bioscience

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FORT COLLINS - Ventria Bioscience has received notification of approximately $200,000 in funding for a research proposal to study treatment of acetaminophen overdose-induced liver failure, Ventria announced today.

Funding comes from a one-year, Phase 1 Small Business Technology Transfer grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Ventria is collaborating with researchers at the University of Colorado-Denver Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center in Denver.

Acetaminophen is a widely used, over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer. Although usually safe at recommended doses, improper use or overdose can cause severe liver damage with the potential to progress to APAP-induced liver injury (AILI) and acute liver failure.

"Our group's focus is to better understand AILI and identify novel therapeutics than can protect the liver from this kind of injury," said Cynthia Ju, associate professor of pharmaceutical science at the University of Colorado-Denver and the principal investigator for the study.

"We have previously shown that the milk-derived protein lactoferrin has a profound ability to protect the liver in a murine model of AILI. Our collaboration with Ventria Bioscience presents an excellent opportunity to expand on these findings and investigate the feasibility of developing a novel treatment for AILI using Ventria's recombinant human lactoferrin as a therapeutic."

"Our work with Dr. Ju's group exemplifies Ventria Bioscience's approach toward product development," said Scott Deeter, Ventria's president and CEO. "By collaborating with leading academic and clinical researchers and giving them access to high-quality recombinant proteins to further their clinical research, we also advance Ventria's mission to enable global access to medicines that can save lives around the world."

Results generated from the study will form the basis for submission of a Phase II STTR research proposal, Ventria said.

Ventria Bioscience develops, manufactures and markets biotherapeutics and products used in bioprocessing, regenerative medicine, cell culture media and research and development.

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