Bitop AG Announces that Ectoin Reduces Nanoparticle-Induced Inflammatory Reaction in the Lung



Bitop AG Announces that Ectoin® Reduces Nanoparticle-Induced Inflammatory Reaction in the Lung


Witten, Germany, May 20, 2010 / b3c newswire / – bitop AG, which specializes in the development and marketing of Ectoin®-containing medical devices, announces that Ectoin® significantly reduces nanoparticle-induced inflammatory reaction in rat lungs, one of the animal models for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is the first time that Ectoin® has been shown to have such an effect on nanoparticle-induced lung inflammation. Current therapy for COPD is treatment with glucocorticoids that, however, have only limited effect on nanoparticle-induced lung inflammation even when inhaled.

Carbon nanoparticles (CNPs), a well-accepted model for the carbonaceous core of combustion-derived nanoparticles, induce lung inflammation in rats by causing an influx of neutrophil granulocytes into the lung epithelium. Ectoin®, given locally with or before the application of nanoparticles, reduced neutophil influx by about 30%. Furthermore, Ectoin® prevented CNP-induced increase in cinc-1 release. Cinc-1 is the rat homologue of human IL-8, a cytokine that mediates CNP induced influx of neutrophil granulocytes. Pretreatment with Ectoin® also reduces CNP-induced release of other major proinflammatory cytokines that play a critical role in the induction of lung fibrosis or in the pathogenic cascade leading to asthma.

The preventive effect of Ectoin® was not observed when lung inflammation was induced by bacterial lipopolysaccharide. Because the mechanism of innate immunity was not compromised, it is not likely that prevention of particle-induced inflammatory reaction by Ectoin® will have a negative impact on host defense mechanisms of the lung.

“Nanoparticles are a major hazard in the ambient air of modern industrialized societies and lung diseases like COPD and asthma occur as a consequence. Our findings suggest that Ectoin® can be used for the development of medical devices to protect individuals against unavoidable environmental nanoparticle-induced inflammatory reaction in the lung,” says Dr. Dirk Probst CEO at bitop AG.


Based on this study, which was performed in cooperation with the Environmental Health Research Institute (IUF gGmbH) at the Heinrich Heine University in Duesseldorf, Germany, bitop has performed a clinical study in humans whose outcomes are currently being analyzed.


Ectoin® is a trademark of bitop AG, all rights reserved.

About Nanoparticle-Induced Lung Inflammation
Lung inflammation can be induced by chronic inhalation of nanoparticles arising from natural and man-made sources. Exposure to inhaled nanoparticles in humans is associated with a number of detrimental consequences that extend beyond lung inflammation and include secondary diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as systemic diseases like coronary heart disease. Particle pollution such as diesel exhaust particles in ambient air can be reduced but not eliminated, and conventional measures will therefore always be of limited effectiveness at an individual level. Thus, there is a growing need for the development of individualized preventive strategies. Ectoin® is being developed for the prevention of particle-induced airway inflammation in humans.


About Ectoin®
Ectoin® is a cyclic amino acid that is produced mainly by halophilic bacteria to protect the cells from the extreme osmotic stress associated with saline conditions. Ectoin® protects biological macromolecules and structures from adverse environmental conditions, minimizes the denaturation of biopolymers occurring under water stress conditions, and stabilizes proteins by maintaining the protein hydration structure. Furthermore, Ectoin® is able to protect human skin epithelial cells against UV radiation by interfering with signaling pathways that are initiated at the level of the cell membrane. Ectoin® is water-soluble, chemically stable, non-toxic and highly compatible with cell metabolism.


bitop AG develops Ectoin® for the co-treatment of inflammatory diseases and for the protection of human skin from harmful environmental factors .



About bitop -
bitop AG, located in Witten, Germany, is the only company worldwide able to isolate and produce Ectoin® in quantities suitable for supplying the market. The company develops and markets Ectoin®-containing medical devices for different therapeutic areas such as asthma, COPD, allergy, and dermatology. Inhalation medical devices containing Ectoin® are developed for nebulizer (inhalation solution) or dry powder inhaler (DPI) application and are a near-to-market opportunity for health care companies seeking a partnership for the indications asthma and COPD.
Ectoin®-containing products are successfully marketed internationally in the cosmetics area for anti-aging, skincare, and sun protection. Ectoin®-containing medical devices are successfully marketed for the care and treatment of skin diseases.
For the treatment of topical skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, bitop has entered a cooperation with Klosterfrau Healthcare Group (MedEctoin® Syxyl Cream).


bitop was founded in 1993 by scientists from the Witten/Herdecke University and has 50 employees. The company has its roots in the area of bioprocessing as well as the cultivation and utilization of extremophilic microorganisms.


About IUF –
The IUF (Institut für umweltmedizinische Forschung or Environmental Health Research Institute) was founded in 2001 as a non-profit, limited liability company. Scientific director of the institute is Jean Krutmann, M.D., Professor of Environmental Health Research and Dermatology. The IUF is institutionally supported by the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has about 100 employees of whom 60 are financed through external project-related grants provided by the Federal Ministry of the Environment, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the European Union and other research-funding institutions.

The IUF’s major task is to carry out molecular preventive medical research in the area of environmental health. The main objective is the analysis and evaluation of risks to human health that result from environmental factors in order to improve health care and to develop more preventive and therapeutic strategies.


Diana Graf
bitop AG
Stockumer Str. 28
58453 Witten, Germany
Phone  +49 (0) 2302 / 91440-35
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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