Technology Portfolio

Methods and Compositions for Treatment of Chlamydial Infection and Sequela Using Small Molecule EGFR Inhibitors

Antibiotic resistance, caused by overuse of antibiotics, is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. Chlamydia is a very common STD that is treated with antibiotics. Evidence of antibiotic-resistant chlamydia and other bacterial STDs have prompted the World Health Organization to change treatment guidelines, compliant with the “Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance.” Our patent protected method of administration of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors offers protection from chlamydia and is a non-antibiotic treatment.

Technology Overview

Ref #: WFU 14-30

Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have identified an essential function of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in chlamydia infection. Using EGFR inhibitors, they have demonstrated in vivo feasibility of treating chlamydia infection. The inventors have provided a method of re-purposing EGFR inhibitors in the treatment/prevention of chlamydial infection and their sequelae.

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted pathogens in the world, causing an estimated 92 million infections per year, with more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. alone. The rate for chlamydia infection is 3.3 times higher in women than in men. It is estimated that nearly 3 million Americans are infected annually, costing more than $4 billion in health care costs.

During the past 30 years, attempts to create an effective chlamydia vaccine have proven unsuccessful. The identification of chlamydial or host-cell proteins that chlamydia rely on for development in infected tissue is useful for development of effective therapeutics against this pathogen.

The necessity of bacterial interaction with EGFR for chlamydia infection has been confirmed.

Successful in vitro and in vivo demonstration of protection from chlamydia was observed by administering EGFR inhibitors.

• Allen W. Tsang, PhD, Department of Internal Medicine

• Cristina M. Furdui, PhD, Department of Internal Medicine

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Osama Zahid
Osama Zahid, PhD