Start of a new proof-of-concept study

Testing of a novel anti-inflammatory drug for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) based on endotoxin challenge

News / August 11, 2016

In cooperation with the Radiology Department of the Hannover Medical School, the Fraunhofer ITEM team has recently started a proof-of-concept study using endotoxin challenge to test the efficacy of a novel anti-inflammatory drug for COPD treatment.

In this study, the test subjects are undergoing a 4-week treatment with either verum or placebo, before they are subjected to bronchoscopy. During this examination, endotoxin is instilled into a defined lung segment, shortly leading to an influx of proinflammatory cells into the treated lung segment. The composition of proinflammatory cells in the process thus induced is similar to the airway inflammation found in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A substantially lower influx of proinflammatory cells in the test subjects treated with verum than in those who had received placebo indicates therapeutic success.

In addition, the test persons undergo magnetic resonance imaging examination of the lung prior to and 24 hours after the endotoxin challenge. The aim is to visualize the degree of the segmental inflammatory response in the lung. The use of imaging methods in the early phase of clinical development provides non-invasive access to additional valuable information on the time course.