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Septic Cholestasis

As our initial medical application, we have developed the first specific therapy for septic cholestasis. It is our aim to lower the extremely high mortality rate of over 90%1 significantly.

Septic cholestasis causes severe damage to the liver and can occur in the course of sepsis. Experts estimate that between 1,100 and 2,200 cases of septic cholestasis occur in Germany every year. Liver damage in sepsis has been shown to have a strong correlation with mortality.2 A specific therapy is not yet available for these patients.

Our state of development

  • efficacy has been demonstrated in a sepsis animal model
  • the regulatory toxicity studies have been completed successfully
  • the first study in humans has been approved

The drug-loaded nanocarriers are released into the bloodstream. In unprotected form, the substance would be potentially dangerous for the patient. Dye molecules on the particle surface act like a "navigation system": they target only specific structures on the target cells in the liver so that the nanoparticles are selectively absorbed.3 Inside the cell, the nanocarrier dissolves, releasing the enclosed substance, and can unfold its highly potent effect exclusively at the target site. The other particle components are degraded and metabolised or excreted.

Further applications

Our patented drug delivery technology is in the pre-clinical development phase for further therapeutic applications:

  • e.g. for severe kidney diseases, cancer or infections
  • for different ways of administration

We work in close cooperation with the Jena University Hospital and its globally renowned Center for Sepsis Control & Care (CSCC) as well as with experts in material and polymer research at the University of Jena.

1. Jäger, B. et al. Hepatology 2012, 56, 2297-2304.
2. Recknagel, P. et al. PLoS Med. 2012, 9(11):e1001338.
3. Press, A. T. et al. Nat. Commun. 2014, 5, 5565.