Inhibition of Host Heme Oxygenase-1 as an Adjunctive Treatment to Improve the Outcome of Conventional Antibiotic Chemotherapy of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) Infection

This invention describes the adjunctive use of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) inhibitors to improve the outcome of conventional antibiotic treatment for tuberculosis. The existent standard of care requires prolonged administration of drug. Due to the long duration of treatment, methods that can more rapidly control tuberculosis in patients are clearly needed.

NIAID researchers have discovered that inhibition of host HO-1 reduces Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) growth in vivo and, more importantly, when used as an adjunct to conventional chemotherapy, results in a marked improvement in pulmonary bacterial control. In particular, it was found using a mouse model that HO-1 inhibitors enhance bacterial clearance when used in conjunction with conventional antibiotic therapy. Further, no obvious toxic side effects were found. Since this host-directed strategy does not directly target the pathogen itself, it may have an added advantage as a treatment for infections with antibiotic-resistant Mtb strains.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • Therapeutic for Mtb
  • Innovative, more rapidly effective therapeutics for tuberculosis are sorely needed due to the continued importance of TB as a global infectious disease and the increasing emergence of multi-drug resistant strains.
  • This invention is a host-directed therapy.


Franklin Sher (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Diego Costa (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

Bruno Andrade

Intellectual Property:
PCT Application No. PCT/US17/039935
US Application No. 62/357,558
US Application No. 16/311,876

Costa DL, et al. PMID 27795400

Collaboration Opportunity:

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further evaluate HO-1 inhibitors in treating human tuberculosis. For collaboration opportunities, please contact James M. Robinson at or 301-761-7542.

Licensing Contact:
Christopher Kornak, J.D.
Phone: 240-627-3705

OTT Reference No: E-174-2016-0
Updated: Jun 22, 2018