Eiger BioPharmaceuticals, Inc. recently announced the filing of a new patent for a novel PAH therapy. The company’s new “Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension with Leukotriene Inhibitors” patent is designed to cover Bestatin™ (ubenimex), which is an inhibitor for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The issuance of a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) marks the start of the patent process for the company and its experimental therapy.
PAH is a condition that results from high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries, which leads to the lung’s arteries becoming narrowed or blocked. Over time, the effort that the heart has to make in order to pump blood through the arteries increases, weakening the muscle and leading to heart failure.
Bestatin™, the small molecule covered in Eiger BioPharmaceutical’s patent application, has the ability to inhibit the activity of the enzyme LTA4H, which is involved in the formation of proinflammatory mediator LTB4. Moreover, according to David Cory, President of Eiger BioPharmaceutical, recent studies suggest that high levels of this LTB4 may play a role in the inflammatory component of PAH.
The laboratory of Mark Nicolls, MD, at Stanford University has developed a technology that allows the monitorization of LTB4’s effects in lung inflammation modulation and lung immune response modulation. This technology was licensed exclusively to Eiger BioPharmaceuticals which the company believes offers a new and promising therapeutic approach to treat PAH. In addition to its connection with Standford University, Eiger BioPharmaceuticals has another agreement with Nippon Kayaku Co., Ltd., in Tokyo, to develop Bestatin™ (ubenimex) molecules for PAH, as well as other inflammatory diseases involving LTB4.
After the conclusion of administrative processes and respective proposal examination, it is expected that a new U.S. patent addressing the treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension with Leukotriene Inhibitor will be developed as well.
David Cory concluded that “this newly allowed patent covering Bestatin™ (ubenimex) is a valuable addition to Eiger BioPharmaceuticals’ intellectual property portfolio.”