Beech Tree Labs Allowed Patent for COPD Therapy
Providence, RI—(GlobeNewswire)—Beech Tree Labs, Inc. announced today that it received notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a patent covering the company’s novel product candidate to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The patent teaches the use of the combination of low-dose DNA and streptolysin O for this indication.
COPD is the fifth leading cause of death worldwide and is expected to rise to the third leading position in the near future. A report published in Lancet states that “in a large, multi-cultural, North American population…about one in four people older than 35 years are likely to be diagnosed with COPD during their lifetime.”
COPD is a progressive disease caused by chronic inflammation and destruction of the airways and lung parenchyma. It is most often associated with tobacco smoking although aging, asthma, and exposure to environmental pollutants also contribute. There are currently no drugs on the market to reverse this disorder.
“The essential function of gas exchange is highly dependent on the lung’s structurally fragile architecture,” says John McMichael, president and CEO of Beech Tree Labs, Inc. “This fragility is easily compromised by minor changes in composition of lung tissue, especially by scarring subsequent to inflammation. There is an urgent need in the market for drugs that can not only alter the underlying inflammation associated with COPD and relax the airway smooth muscles, but also a product that can slow and even reverse scarring and loss of lung function.
“Our drug candidate appears to reduce scarred lung tissue, potentially restoring lung function while simultaneously stimulating the cilia lining the airway to beat stronger and faster to enhance clearance of mucus and particulate contaminates. The combination of clearance and improved structural conditions allows for improved respiratory efficiency.”
Beech Tree Labs, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company with an extensive patent portfolio that includes other potential therapeutics targeting a broad spectrum of chronic disorders. The Company’s focus is on discovery and early-stage development through Phase 2 clinical trials and then out-licensing to larger pharmaceutical and biotech firms for continued evaluation and marketing.