Fighting cancer and infection
Cells that have turned cancerous or been infected by an intracellular pathogen, like a virus, must be recognized by the immune system before they can be destroyed. However, in the case of both cancer and chronic infections, the body can suffer from immune exhaustion.
Increasing the immunogenicity of diseased cells would help a beleaguered immune system to dispose of unwanted cells more efficiently. Equaly’s platform makes this possible.
What can we do for it
Our technology can be used to activate the innate immune system in an antigen-specific way, thereby helping it to recognize and eliminate diseased cells.
Our platform uses the following simple steps to create short peptide immunotherapeutics:
- A specific protein present on the cancer cell or infected cell is chosen as a target
- Using Equaly’s algorithms, the protein is analyzed for NKT-activating peptide sequences
- Candidate peptides are easily produced and tested in vitro for NKT activation
- Successful peptides are administered to patients, leading to the expansion of antigen-specific NKT cells which drive a broader immune response.
Following this approach, short peptides of 15 - 20 amino acids are used as immunotherapeutics for tumors and viral, bacterial or parasitic intracellular infections. These are easy to prepare and not hampered by patient-to-patient variation. Thanks to their mechanism of action, they are potentially synergistic with pre-existing treatments such as checkpoint inhibitors in oncology.