Prevention of colitis by controlled oral drug delivery of carbon monoxide

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Carbon monoxide (CO) is an endogenous signal transmitter involved in numerous physiological processes including the gastrointestinal (GI) homeostasis. CO has been recognized as potential new therapeutic agent for motility related and inflammatory disorders of the GI tract. A therapeutic use, however, is challenged by inappropriate drug delivery modes. Here we describe a micro scale Oral Carbon Monoxide Release System (M-OCORS) designed for localized and controlled exposure of the GI tract with in situ generated CO. M-OCORS allowed for controlled release profiles lasting for several minutes or up to almost one day. These in vitro release profiles translated into a large pharmacokinetic design space following oral administration in mice and measured as CO-hemoglobin (CO-Hb) formation. M-OCORS with a release profile featuring exposure of the intestine was profiled in two independently performed studies demonstrating preventive effects in chemically induced colitis. M-OCORS significantly reduced damage scores and prevented upregulation of colitis biomarkers.

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