Each year, more than 25 million people in the U.S. suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), a life threatening disease that interferes with normal breathing. Although 80 percent of people who die from COPD are former smokers, approximately 3 percent have a genetic disorder (alpha-1 antitrypsin or “AAT deficiency”). To date, there is no cure for either disease. Only symptomatic relief methods are available.
Dr. Matthias Clauss, scientific founder of Allinaire and Associate Research Professor of Cellular & Integrative Physiology, Indiana Center for Vascular Biology & Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, and Dr. Irina Petrache, scientific founder of Allinaire and chief, Division of Pulmonology, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, National Jewish Health, discovered that symptoms of COPD and AAT deficiency can be mitigated by reducing the activity of certain secreted proteins. Their discoveries led to the formation of Allinaire Therapeutics LLC, a life sciences start-up company focusing on novel therapeutics for pulmonary diseases.
Allinaire recently received new investments from BioCrossroads’ Indiana Seed Fund II; BioMotiv, a biomedical accelerator affiliated with the Harrington Project for Discovery & Development; and Indiana University’s Innovate Indiana Fund to advance the development of therapeutics for the treatment of AAT deficiency, COPD and other respiratory disorders, including acute lung injury. In addition, the company has received grant support from the National Institutes of Health, Small Business Innovation & Research program.
“Allinaire has great promise – an outstanding research and development team, the support of one of the premier accelerator programs in the U.S., novel science and now funding to move their innovation forward,” said David L. Johnson, president and CEO, BioCrossroads.
Dr. Petrache is a Harrington Scholar-Innovator whose research was identified and supported by the Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland. Harrington Scholar-Innovators receive mentorship, resource connections and business support through this program.
“Allinaire Therapeutics’ technology demonstrates great potential to become a disease-modifying approach to COPD and emphysema. As Class A investors, Innovate Indiana looks forward to working closely with the Allinaire Therapeutics team to ensure the continued success of the technology and the company,” said Ken Green, M.D., managing director of the Innovate Indiana Fund.
“We are pleased to partner with BioCrossroads and Innovate Indiana to support the advancement of these discoveries from Indiana University researchers,” said Baiju R. Shah, CEO, BioMotiv.