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Synthetic peptide composition to inhibit inflammatory activity to aid in drug and biomaterial delivery


Anti-SIRP peptide binds to phagocytes to circumvent immune response to foreign materials 



Dennis Discher , Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 



The immune system efficiently recognizes foreign materials upon introduction to the body.  Phagocytes are immune cells that protect the body by ingesting foreign particles, bacteria, and dying cells.  Phagocytes also plan a role in inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis.  While the phagocytic response is typically beneficial for clearing pathogens, it is a limitation when clinical treatment relies on a biomaterial implant or drug delivery vehicle, such as stents and nanoparticles.  The body’s response to the foreign entity results in premature clearance of the material or an immune reaction that hinders the efficacy of the treatment regimen.



Researchers in the Discher lab have developed a small synthetic peptide based on CD47 that can be attached to or coadministered with viruses, nanoparticles, or biomaterials to mask the foreign matter, allowing for more effective therapeutics.  The peptide acts as a “self” signal to effectively reduce the body’s natural response to engulf the material; it binds to the SIRP-α signal on phagocytes to prevent phagocytes from eating “self” entities.  The lab has demonstrated that nanobeads circulate longer in the bloodstream when coated with the “self” peptide. 





•       Increase circulation of drug in blood

•       Minimize inflammatory response to foreign objects

•       Reduce platelet activation and clotting on blood-contacting materials



•       Drug delivery

•       Coat any non-tissue material entering body

•       Inflammatory diseases/arthritis treatment

•       Autoimmune diseases



Stage of Development

In vitro and in vivo testing 


Intellectual Property

UP application (US 20140140926 A1)


Reference Media

NIH Highlight

Penn News highlight 1

Penn News highlight 2

Rodriguez PL, et al.  Science, 2013, 339(6122): 971-975.

Tsai RK, et al.  Journal of Cell Biology, 2008, 180: 989-1003 .  Cover Article.



Desired partnerships

•  License




Download PDF


Docket #   X5663

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Joshua Jeanson
Associate Director, SEAS/SAS Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania
Dennis Discher