Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD), a devastating pulmonary complication in children born with underdeveloped lungs, occurs in 30-50% of infants weighing less than one kilogram at birth. When these babies are placed on ventilators for pressurized oxygen, their delicate airways can sometimes be damaged resulting in an inflammatory response and aberrant lung development with decreased alveolarization. If this respiratory distress continues for more than one month, the condition is classified as BPD.
Significant morbidity and mortality are associated with this, the most common chronic lung disease of childhood. BPD is a serious condition requiring intensive medical care. In rare cases, and combined with other complications of prematurity such as pneumonia, bronchiolitis, and respiratory syncytial virus [RSV], it can be fatal. Approximately 12,000-15,000 infants develop BPD each year in the United States and 10-15% of them will die in the first year of life. Other possible complications include developmental problems, stunted growth and pulmonary hypertension. In addition to the direct impacts on the infant, and the clear toll that this disease takes on families, related healthcare expenditures have been estimated at $26B per year.
However, there may be help for these newborns. In BPD, white blood cells, which destroy tissue architecture, constantly flow into inflamed areas of the lung. RHAMM’s essential role in this process is to act as gatekeeper, allowing white blood cells to migrate, affecting the production of other factors that destroy healthy tissue. Thus blocking RHAMM function with a Novare peptide can stop the inflammatory cascade that is the hallmark of BPD.
The use of Novare’s RHAMM-blocking peptide dampens the accumulation of white blood cells and blocks fibrosis without affecting healthy tissue. In addition, some experimental studies suggest that these RHAMM-blocking peptides have the demonstrated ability to significantly reduce the pattern of tissue scarring.
Watch the following video to learn more about Dr. Turley's research on RHAMM therapeutics for lung fibrosis and BPD.
Learn more about Dr. Turley's research via her research articles.