Human Lactoferrin in Acetaminophen Overdose-Induced Liver Failure

Period of Performance: 09/01/2012 - 08/31/2013


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Ventria Bioscience
Fort Collins, CO 80524
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): An acute or cumulative overdose of acetaminophen (APAP), following either therapeutic overdose or suicide attempts, can cause severe liver damage with the potential to progress to liver failure. APAP overdose accounts for more than 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations, and an estimated 458 deaths due to acute liver failure each year, making APAP the most frequent cause of drug-induced liver failure in the U.S. Currently, N- acetylcysteine (NAC) is the only antidote used clinically to ameliorate APAP-induced liver injury (AILI). However, the effectiveness of NAC declines rapidly after APAP ingestion. Therefore, developing new life-saving treatment is critically needed. In our preliminary study with milk- derived lactoferrin, we demonstrate that the lactoferrin has a profound hepato-protective effect in a murine model of AILI. In the present proposal, we will team up with scientists from Ventria Bioscience to investigate the feasibility of developing a novel treatment o AILI with recombinant human lactoferrin (rhLF) produced by Ventria. There are two aims in the present proposal. Aim 1. Purification of rhLF from rice suitable for intravenous (i.v.) administration. We will purify sufficient amount of rhLF from rice grain and formulate it for systemic administration to mice. Aim 2. Investigation of the feasibility of the rhLF in attenuating AILI in mice. We will determine the condition in which rhLF can exert maximal/optimal effect on AILI. We expect that the study will prove that the rhLF is able to protect mice from liver injury due to overdose of APAP and establish a base for further study in phase II STTR to develop a novel therapy for AILI. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Acetaminophen overdose cause severe liver damage and accounts for more than 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations, and an estimated 458 deaths each year in the U.S. Based on our preliminary study, we propose to develop a novel therapeutic treatment with recombinant human lactoferrin.