Focus is on GI permeability to transform management of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases
In healthy people, the wall of the intestine forms a barrier between the contents of the gut and the rest of the body, with only the nutrients produced by digestion passing through. If the intestine becomes more permeable, other molecules or bacteria from the gut may also get through, producing inflammation and other medical problems. This means that methods for effectively measuring intestinal permeability are of great interest for the management of conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Clinical studies are underway to understand how fluorescent tracer agent-based systems might prove of clinical utility in the quantification of the permeability of the gastrointestinal tract in patients with Crohn’s Disease and other conditions which might be related to abnormal gastrointestinal barrier function.*
MediBeacon gut permeability research is being completed in collaboration with researchers at the Mayo Clinic, at Washington University in St. Louis and in partnership with investigators at the Imperial College of London. Results from initial studies are the subject of peer-reviewed publications.
Increased intestinal permeability is implicated in autoimmune diseases. Examples include Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes, all of which are characterized by abnormal intestinal permeability.
- Journal of American Society for Nutrition, Uluwishewa D. et al., Regulation of tight junction permeability by intestinal bacteria and dietary components, 2011
Increasing evidence points to abnormal gut permeability as a “leading indicator” of inflammation.
- BMC Gastroenterology, Steven Bischoff et al., Intestinal permeability – a new target for disease prevention and therapy, 2014
IBD therapy focuses on inflammation control and even with symptom control this remains the goal.
- Gastroenterology, Barrett Levesque et al., Converging goals of treatment of inflammatory bowel disease from clinical trials and practice, 2015
In the US IBD care costs as much as
– The American Journal of Managed Care, Foram Mehta., Economic implications of inflammatory bowel disease and its management, March 2016
Growing Research Interest
Peer-reviewed publications on the topic have increased to >1,000 annually in 2018.
– PubMed entries on “intestinal permeability,” 1970-2018
FUNDING FROM THE BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION
Washington University School of Medicine, in collaboration with MediBeacon has received Grand Challenges Explorations and Grand Challenges Explorations Phase II grants totaling over $1 million. Grand Challenges Explorations is an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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*MediBeacon products are in various stages of clinical development and are not yet approved for human use.
**The Transdermal GFR Measurement System (TGFR) is intended to measure Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) in patients with impaired or normal renal function. References on this website to measured kidney function and measured renal function refer to the measured GFR.