Three Questions with Allinaire Therapeutics Scientific Co-founders, Drs. Irina Petrache and Matthias Clauss
BioMotiv’s portfolio companies are based on distinctive innovations emanating from talented scientists across the world. From time to time, the BioMotiv Blog will feature a Q&A with one of the scientific founders we work with to gain insight into what motivated them to pursue their discoveries.
By: Erin Reese
Allinaire Therapeutics was launched by scientific co-founders, Irina Petrache, MD, and Matthias Clauss, PhD, in 2016. Their mission — to develop new treatments for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other lung diseases.
Irina Petrache, MD, is Chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health and University of Colorado, Denver. She completed her postgraduate training in Internal Medicine at Saint Luke’s Medical Center (now Saint Vincent’s Medical Center) and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, and in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. She is a practicing pulmonary and critical care physician and the principal investigator of a laboratory that investigates the pathogenesis and promising therapeutic and repair strategies for pulmonary emphysema and COPD. In 2014, she was named a Harrington Scholar. Dr. Petrache received her medical degree from the Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania.
Matthias Clauss, PhD, is a Senior Research Professor of Cellular and Integrative Physiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. Work in Dr. Clauss' laboratory is focused on elucidating the role of vascular endothelium in diseases. Dr. Clauss has been continuously funded by the NIH for over 8 years and has published over 70 papers. He received his PhD in Biology from the Ruprecht-Karls-University in Heidelberg, Germany and performed his postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University.
Together, Drs. Petrache and Clauss identified a target in a biologic pathway that is central in the destruction and death of lung tissue in COPD and found an antibody that acts against this target to slow disease progression.
Here, they share some additional insight into their work:
What motivated you to pursue your discovery?
The quest for understanding how the lung gets damaged by smoking cigarettes. We [Dr. Petrache and her research team] were focusing on the injury of small vessels in the lung and Dr. Clauss was focusing on a molecule that caused both vascular injury and inflammation, and we thought it may be a logical candidate to look at next.
How did you discover your technology?
We collaborated closely and used complementary techniques both within our labs and outsourced to expert laboratories to pursue our discovery and technology.
What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned as you worked through the commercialization process?
That it takes a lot of patience and input from experts in this area of drug development in order to advance. Being open to using other approaches, and even different language than what we are used to in our academic setting, is key.
Click here to learn more about Drs. Clauss and Petrache’s work at Allinaire.