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Pulmonary disease

Pulmonary fibrosis

Amphiregulin (AREG); epidermal growth factor receptor 1 (EGFR1; HER1; ErbB1); transforming growth factor-b1 (TGFB1)

In vitro and mouse studies suggest inhibiting AREG-EGFR1 signaling could help treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). In the lungs of patients with IPF, TGFB1 levels were greater than those in lungs of healthy individuals. In a mouse fibroblast cell line, human and mouse TGFB1 upregulated Areg, which activated Egfr1 and increased proliferation compared with vehicle. In a transgenic TGFB1-expressing mouse model of pulmonary fibrosis, AREG small interfering RNA or an EGFR1 inhibitor decreased collagen accumulation and pulmonary fibrosis compared with a scrambled siRNA or vehicle. Ongoing work includes investigating expression of AREG in serum and tissues from patients with IPF and other fibrotic diseases.
At least 16 companies market inhibitors of EGFR or EGFR1 to treat various cancers.

SciBX 5(43); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1145
Published online Nov. 1, 2012

Patented by Yale University and Bioneer Corp.; available for licensing

Zhou, Y. et al. J. Biol. Chem.; published online Oct. 19, 2012;
Contact: Chun Geun Lee, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.