ResBiotic Subsidiary Alveolus Bio Focused on Lung, Gut Health

Marta Figueiredo, PhD avatar

by Marta Figueiredo, PhD |

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The biotech startup ResBiotic has created a lung disease-focused pharmaceutical spin-off — Alveolus Bio — and launched its first probiotic-based consumer health product called resB Lung Support.

The parent company, based in Birmingham, Alabama, and its subsidiary are using $4.5 million in seed funding “to transform the respiratory care landscape and chart new frontiers for [microbiota-based] science,” according to a press release.

The gastrointestinal tract is colonized by gut microbiota, a vast community of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that help maintain a balanced gut function, protect against disease-causing organisms, and influence the host’s immune and inflammatory responses.

Increasing evidence suggests that gut microbiota imbalance affects the health of several organs, such as the brain and lungs, and vice versa. Therefore, restoring the balance of the gut microbiota potentially may improve the health of these organs.

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“Considering the therapeutic potential of [microbiota]-based products for lung health, it was essential that we create a subsidiary company to support a pharmaceutical pipeline separate from our consumer nutrition division,” said C. Vivek Lal, MD, founder and CEO of ResBiotic and Alveolus.

“Our pharmaceutical arm is developing biotherapeutics for specific chronic respiratory conditions” while the consumer nutrition arm “remains focused on science-backed proactive products that anyone concerned about their lung health can use and benefit from today,” added Lal, who also is the director of University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)’s pulmonary microbiome lab.

Alveolus Bio’s intellectual property portfolio includes a recently secured patent on live biotherapeutics — therapies containing live microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeasts — for lung conditions affecting infants, children, and/or adults.

The company is working on potential breakthrough treatments for chronic lung diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a disease of unknown cause characterized by lung scarring (fibrosis).

RB2010, Alveolus’ inhaled therapy candidate for IPF, is being tested in proof-of-concept preclinical studies. Preclinical research also is underway for potential treatments for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and cystic fibrosis.

ResBiotic’s consumer arm is focused on the development of dietary supplements designed to improve a person’s health.

Its first product, resB Lung Support, is an oral supplement that combines science-backed lung-targeting probiotics with ancient botanical extracts to balance gut microbiota and support lung health. Probiotics, naturally found in yogurt and other fermented foods, are live microorganisms thought to improve gut health.

The proprietary blend of probiotic strains — Lactiplantibacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus — was shown previously to support lung structure and function in preclinical studies.

These strains work by targeting the bidirectional interactions between the gut microbiota and the mucous membrane lining the respiratory tract, also known as the gut-lung axis.

The oral supplement also contains extracts from turmeric, holy basil (tulsi), and Malabar nut (vasaka), three ancient herbs historically used for their lung health- or immune health-promoting properties and that have gained increasing interest among the scientific community.

These botanical extracts, produced by suppliers certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are specifically processed for extended stability and probiotic longevity. According to the company, this combination of probiotics and herb extracts creates a truly unique formulation, tailored toward lung support.

According to ResBiotic, every resB Lung Support’s ingredient has been clinically tested in humans and shown to be safe, but the product is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Each oral capsule is meant to be taken twice a day or as recommended by a physician.

Both ResBiotic and Alveolus were founded based on more than a decade of respiratory and microbiota research at UAB, and are a part of Lal’s Biostack Ventures, which invests in and incubates companies working on innovative products in the fields of cardio-respiratory and maternal-health.

The scientific advisory boards of both companies include internationally renowned experts in the fields of lung biology and microbiota.