Many of the failed efforts to develop sepsis drugs have focused on broad inflammatory modulators. In fact, the only product to date that has shown success in Phase III trials that measure 28 day mortality is Eli Lilly and Co.'s Zovant, a serine protease that works by both anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Last week, investigators at F. Hoffmann-La Roche reported in Nature the identification of a new receptor with targeted anti-inflammatory properties that might overcome the drawbacks of the first generation of products.

The ROCZ researchers identified TREM1, a neutrophil and monocyte surface receptor that is upregulated on inflammatory cells derived from tissues affected by Gram-negative bacterial infections. By specifically targeting inflammatory cells that are present at the site of infection, TREM1 may provide an avenue to prevent the detrimental amplification