Innovation Sphere



Project TitleTreatment of Insulin-Resistant Modulation of Gut Immunity and Intestinal Epithelial Function
Track Code14017
Short Description

New use of 5-ASA for glucose management


Management of obesity and associated metabolic abnormalities requires new and efficient approaches. Researchers at UHN have developed a new method of management of glucose levels which utilizes 5-ASA. It has been shown that 5-ASA has an anti-inflammatory effect on the gut immune cell population in the colon and small bowel of mice fed a high-fat diet. The tendency for obese patients to have  increased levels of inflammatory immune cells including Tbet+, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells as well as a reduction of Tregs in the intestine, creates an opportunity for the development of new anti-inflammatory formulations based on 5-ASA.

The research team from UHN has also shown that treatment with 5-ASA did not produce weight change in animal models while resulting in significant improvements in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. In addition, 5-ASA treatment also improved gut microbial parameters, including bacterial diversity and enrichment of select short-chain fatty acid producers, intestinal permeability, and demonstrated oral tolerance in mice.

The overall result was a reduction in systemic inflammation of metabolic tissues and improved glucose homeostasis. 5-ASA may represent first-line gut-specific immunomodulatory therapy for obesity-associated metabolic abnormalities.


Tagstherapeutic, biological, diabetes, insulin resistance, Metabolic Diseases, gut immunity, 5-ASA, inflammation, TGHRI, TREATMENT OF INSULIN-RESISTANT MODULATION OF GUT IMMUNITY AND INTESTINAL EPITHELIAL FUNCTION
Posted DateAug 30, 2017 3:22 PM

Potential Applications

  • Metabolic disease management
  • Control of glucose levels
  • Immunotherapy through improvement of oral tolerance

Principal Investigator

Dr. Daniel Winer, University Health Network (lead researcher)

Project Status and Next Steps

Human trial including use in pre-diabetes patients with concurrent irritable bowel syndrome

Patent Status

PCT/CA2016/000101 patent application Compounds and Methods for regulation of High Blood Glucose Levels was filed on 04/01/2016

Partnering Opportunity

Available for joint venture, co-development or non-exclusive licensing


Winer DA et all. Regulation of obesity-related insulin resistance with gut anti-inflammatory agents. Cell Metabolism 21, 527–542, April 7, 2015

For Further Information, Please Contact:

Oksana Akhova, PhD, MBA | Licensing and Commercialization Professional | Technology Development and Commercialization | University Health Network | +1 416-581-8569 |  


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