A new strategy for the treatment of Fibrosis related diseases

Prof. Donald Gullberg, University of Bergen

Bergen Teknologioverføring BTO


Fibrosis is a pathological response to organ injury and is characterized by proliferation of fibroblasts, their differentiation into myofibroblasts and excessive ECM production and deposition [2]. Fibrosis is responsible for remarkably large disease burden, by some estimates accounting for up to 45% of all deaths in the Western world [3]. A major problem with current anti-fibrosis strategies is that many of the target molecules are expressed on multiple cell types causing potential side effects in non-fibrosis related biological processes. In contrast, the expression of the collagen-binding integrin alpha-11 is in adult mouse and humans restricted to fibroblasts/myofibroblasts and constitutes an anti-fibrosis target. Recent data from fibrotic human liver, lung and kidney suggest that alpha-11 is a potential therapeutic target in fibrotic diseases [1].


The technology is targeted to treat or prevent cancer, fibrosis or scleroderma. It might also prevent excessive scarring in wound healing which is observed in hypertrophic scars and keloids. Degenerative inflammatory and non-inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis will most probably also benefit from the treatment. The technology is consisting of monoclonal antibodies directed against human alpha 11 integrin.

Commercial Opportunity

The technology is available for out licensing or co-development.

Development Status

Monoclonal antibodies have been generated to human alpha 11 integrin. The monoclonal antibodies have been tested in human tissue samples and in vitro models. The next development steps are humanization of the antibodies and a creation of a humanized animal model for testing of the fully humanized antibodies before it can be produced in larger quantities for clinical trials.

Patent Situation

Two European priority applications have been filed in 2018 covering therapeutic as well as biomarker related monoclonal antibodies.

Further Reading

1. Margadant, C. et al. EMBO Rep (2010). 11:97-105
2. Wynn, T.A. et al. Nat Med (2012). 18: 1028-40
3. Bansal, R., et al., Exp Mol Med (2017) 49: e396


A new strategy for the treatment of Fibrosis related diseases