While the immune system is meant to attack pathogens and defective cells, sometimes it incorrectly starts attacking healthy cells, leading to an autoimmune disease. These types of diseases are common and widespread, including for example type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Chronic tissue inflammation remains one of the major obstacles to curing autoimmune diseases.
With no cure available, treatments simply aim to alleviate the symptoms of suffering patients, through anti-inflammatory drugs, cytotoxic agents or antibodies targeting inflammatory cytokines. These therapies are all associated with undesirable side effects.
Equaly’s technology can be used to develop autoantigen specific treatments that suppress the inflammation itself, providing a curative treatment. This would not only halt the disease process but also restore a normal, physiological environment allowing the repairing of damaged tissues and organs.
What can we do for it
Equaly’s platform can be used to develop an immunotherapy to halt the autoimmune response. This works by creating short peptides, capable of activating NKT cells. These peptides are administered together with a modulating compound, which causes the NKT cells to adopt a suppressive phenotype. The NKT cells then influence other immune cells to take on a similar state, reducing inflammation and allowing the body to repair itself.