New research consortium focuses on promising asthma medication

The discovery that metabolites from the intestines can prevent inflammation in the lungs brings a new asthma medication closer. It is one of the important results of the LONGFONDS | Accelerate research into asthma prevention. Longfonds aims to accelerate the development of this potential medication. Therefore, Longfonds is providing a Public Private Partnership (PPP) allowance from Health-Holland, Top Sector Life Sciences & Health, to Monash University, Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), and the new start-up Atopius Health. Thanks to the allowance, these parties can collaborate closely for the next two years on groundbreaking medication. For people with asthma, this means hope for a new medicine that can prevent the ongoing inflammation in their lungs.

From nutrient to new asthma medication

The promising discovery that metabolites can help against allergic inflammation in the lungs and skin allergies was made in 2022 in Australia by Professor Ben Marsland. He is affiliated with the research program LONGFONDS | Accelerate, under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Hermelijn Smits of LUMC.

Metabolites arise when food is digested into simple substances. As food passes through your intestines, it is broken down there by intestinal bacteria. During this process, various substances called metabolites are formed. Marsland's discovery that certain metabolites from the intestines can suppress severe inflammation in the lungs was licensed to Atopius Health in 2023.

Follow-up research

In the coming years, Ben Marsland and his team, along with researchers from LUMC, will focus on one specific metabolite. The goal is to understand exactly how this metabolite works and to make it as effective as possible. This step is necessary to work towards the development of a new medication. The collaboration with the start-up Atopius Health, which was launched on the initiative of Longfonds, means that simultaneous preparatory steps can also be taken to make the medication available to patients.

Future perspective

In two years, the collaborative research teams from Monash University and LUMC expect to have more to say about the promising nature of metabolites as potential asthma medication. Through Longfonds, people with lung diseases remain involved in the research. This ensures that the research remains patient-oriented.