Self-Assembling Peptides to Reduce Cholesterol


Self-Assembling Peptides to Reduce Cholesterol

NJIT Case No. 18-031



Vivek A. Kumar, Peter K. Nguyen, Biplab Sarkar, Patricia Iglesias-Montoro, Zain Siddiqui, Victoria Harbour

Intellectual Property & Development status:

Patent protection is pending.

NJIT is currently seeking commercial partners for the further development and commercialization of this opportunity.


Technology Brief:

Researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in the Department of Biomedical Engineering have invented a novel, inexpensive, injectable delivery system that lowers cholesterol over a prolonged period.


High cholesterol is associated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. Current solutions to lower cholesterol are small-molecule drugs and monoclonal antibodies. These therapies are administered either as pills or through intravenous injection. Administration of small molecule drugs is often complicated due to the need to optimize pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Proteases and enzymes often quickly degrade small molecule drugs before they bind to their target. Such degradation affects the intended biological function of drug molecules and decreases their efficacy. The invention is a functionalized peptide-based injectable hydrogel that lowers the level of low-density lipoprotein particles in the blood stream that carry cholesterol. Hydrogels are composed of a nanofibrous network. When a hydrogel is injected as an implant, the crosslinks between the polymers break down slowly, releasing the drug steadily over time. This is beneficial from both a dosing and pharmacodynamics perspective. Additionally, these hydrogels are easy and inexpensive to formulate, water-based, completely biocompatible, and have tunable material properties.



•       Inexpensive

•       Injectable

•       Biocompatible and biodegradable

•       Non-toxic

•       Prolonged effect

•       Tunable

•       Decreased immunogenicity



•       Cardio-vascular diseases

•       Hypercholesterolemia

•       Atherosclerosis

•       Drug delivery


Inventors Bio:

Dr. Vivek A. Kumar is an assistant professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical and Materials Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Before that, he was a NIH F32 postdoctoral fellow at Rice University and BIDMC, Harvard Medical School. He completed his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology under the supervision of world-renowned surgeon-scientist Elliot Chaikof, MD, PhD. He received his BS in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University. Dr. Kumar’s research focus is the development of novel biomaterials and composites for a variety of tissue engineering applications including, drug delivery, regenerative medicine, therapeutic angiogenesis, and inflammation modulation. Materials developed in the KumarLab ( are being explored for treatment of a variety of indications including cholesterol lowering (PCSK-9 inhibitors), novel hemostats, chemotherapeutic delivery, treatment of aberrant vasculature in diabetic retinopathy, stem cell delivery, vaccine adjuvants, microbicides, neurogenic peptides for neuroprotection and regeneration after stroke/TBI, dental pulp regeneration, and tissue engineered blood vessels. Dr. Kumar is a prolific author with over 14 years of experience in the synthesis, characterization, and translation of a range of biomaterials with over 30 peer-reviewed research articles, over 30 conference presentations/abstracts, 8 issued/pending patents, and 2 university technology driven start-ups. His publications have been cited nearly 1000 times with an h-index of 17. Dr. Kumar has received multiple awards for both his academic and entrepreneurial work – including the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service F32 Award, American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship, and numerous awards at scientific meetings and pitch events.



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Simon Nynens
VP, Business Incubation
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Vivek Kumar
Peter Nguyen
Biplab Sarkar
Patricia Iglesias-Montoro
Victoria Harbour
Zain Siddiqui
Patent Pending
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