InflammaGen combats "self-digestion" with new delivery and treatment system

Score one for the San Diego start-up combatting "self-digestion" that occurs when people go into shock. InflammaGen has made progress in showing the use of its delivery of a treatment against shock and organ failure in man. And the upstart, a spinout of the University of California, San Diego, now plans to start a mid-stage pilot study with the novel system in the coming months, according to a company release.

The company was founded on the research of UCSD's Dr. Geert Schmid-Schonbein, who found that "self-digestion" that can lead to organ failure and death occurs when the body goes into shock and natural barriers in the small intestine break down and let loose digestive enzymes that eat up organ tissue. Yuck. The firm's solution to the problem, called Shok-Pak, involves a nose tube that delivers a known drug into the stomach and intestine to block the release of the enzymes before they slip into the bloodstream and cause potentially deadly damage.

A 58-year-old man, the first human on which Shok-Pak was tested, received the treatment after he went into acute septic shock. The company, which presented data at the BIO-Europe meeting in Germany this week, didn't share detailed results from the patient's treatment in its press release. Yet, with the data from that study, the firm is advancing the treatment into a Phase II pilot.

InflammaGen CEO John Rodenrys said in a statement that his firm's "preclinical research and patient experiences have demonstrated that blocking the release of digestive enzymes from the intestine to the bloodstream appears to play a critical role in treating and reversing shock and MOF, thereby enabling those inflicted with the condition to recover and survive."

- here's the company's release