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Cholesterol emulsion and supplementary food for the treatment of the Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome

Country of Origin: Germany
Reference Number: TODE20181218001
Publication Date: 7 January 2019


A German university offers a new technology to treat diseases associated with a decreased cholesterol level, such as the Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome. Edible and probe able emulsions are composed in a particular and optimized way that enables increased absorption and distribution of the cholesterol. As a result the intake can be significantly lowered. Industrial licensees are sought.


The Smith-Lemli-Opitz (SLO) syndrome is a hereditary autosomal recessive malformation syndrome based on a metabolic disorder of cholesterol biosynthesis. As a result, there is a deficiency of cholesterol and at the same time increase of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC), resulting in the affected patients with many health impairments. The SLO syndrome is characterized by multiple congenital anomalies, intellectual deficit and abnormal behavior. It is most prevalent in central and northern Europe, with prevalence at birth estimated at 1:20,000 to 1:40,000. The disease is already manifest at birth, but mild forms may be recognized only in late childhood or adulthood.

The current standard therapy consists in the administration of cholesterol in water or oil, for example as a suspension. Due to the low solubility of cholesterol in both liquids, often a sediment is formed, whereby only a small part of the amount of cholesterol administered to the patient can be ingested and absorbed, while the majority of the cholesterol is excreted unused. Therefore, there is a further need of cholesterol-containing compositions that can be used for an optimized intake of cholesterol.

A German university now offers an improved solution. The present technology offer relates to edible and probe able emulsions of particular composition and their use in medicine. Especially, for the treatment of diseases associated with a decreased cholesterol level, such as the SLO syndrome. Further, a process for producing such emulsions has been developed. The developed emulsion provides a stable, defined starting point for the intake of cholesterol in SLO. Thermal influences create a creamy emulsion of fat, water and high cholesterol. Emulsification increases the absorption surface and distributes the cholesterol. The existing natural restriction of cholesterol absorption in the intestine is thereby optimally utilized and the highest possible absorption is achieved. Due to the compact form of the emulsion, a significantly lower intake is required.

The university offers the invention to industrial partners within the framework of a license agreement in order to prepare the emulsions.

Advantages and Innovations

Compared to conventional solutions, this  invention  increases the absorption of the cholesterol. 
Advantages include:
• Emulsions can be prepared to contain a defined amount of cholesterol.
• Properties of the emulsions can be adapted to the application according to the respective patient requirements.
• Lowering the 7-DHC level.
• High storage stability with cooling.

Stage Of Development

Field tested/evaluated

Stage Of Development Comment

The emulsion is already given to SLO patients as a part of their treatment.

Requested partner

Industrial licensees are sought. They should be interested in the preparation of emulsions with the licensed information for the treatment of SLO patients and others. Potential partners could be pharmaceutical industry or any other cholesterol-producing companies.

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