Methods of Treating or Preventing Pruritis (Itch)

This technology provides a novel method of treating or preventing pruritis (itch) using natriuretic polypeptide b (Nppb) blocking agents. Itch (also known as pruritis) is a sensation that may be perceived as an unpleasant skin irritation and may drive an urge to scratch. Conditions such as, for example, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, renal failure, liver cirrhosis and some cancers may cause persistent itch. Itch is triggered by somatosensory neurons expressing the ion channel TRPV1 (transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1). The inventors of this technology show that the Nppb is expressed in a subset of TRPV1 neurons and found that Nppb-/- mice selectively lose all behavioral responses to itch-inducing agents. Nppb triggered potent scratching when injected intrathecally in wild-type and Nppb-/- mice. Itch responses were blocked by toxin-mediated ablation of Nppb-receptor-expressing cells, but a second neuropeptide, gastrin-releasing peptide, still induced strong responses in the toxin-treated animals.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Therapeutics for preventing or treating pruritis/itching.
  • Screening of novel Nppb blocking agents.
  • A new mode of treating itch and itch induced conditions using selective Nppb antagonists.

Development Stage:
  • Early-stage
  • In vitro data available


Mark Hoon (NIDCR)  ➽ more inventions...

Santosh Mishra (NIDCR)  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Application No. 15/039,982
US Application No. 15/971,671
US Application No. 61/912,334
PCT Application No. PCT/US2014/068541


Mishra SK, Hoon MA.

PMID 23704570

Licensing Contact:
Yun Mei, M.D.
Phone: 301-827-4639

OTT Reference No: E-485-2013
Updated: May 31, 2018