Biologicals offer life-saving solutions for patients in need. However, these protein-based therapeutics are often immunogenic, triggering an unwanted immune response when the body perceives the biologicals themselves as a threat. This limits the efficacy of treatments and can prevent re-administration or generate unwanted side-effects. A similar response is seen to the capsid proteins of viral vectors, hampering the development of gene therapy or gene editing strategies.
Previous attempts to overcome the immunogenicity of biologicals targeted adaptive immunity. They were unsuccessful because this response is highly variable between patients. This variation is not present in the cells of the innate immune system, on which the Equaly platform relies.
Our platform can be used to improve existing molecules and viral vectors, to enable safe and long-term therapeutic use.
What can we do for it
A subset of NKT cells is activated by stretches of hydrophobic amino acids and subsequently drives and modulates both the innate and adaptive immune responses. Experiments have shown that carefully engineering these amino acid motifs eliminates unwanted immunogenicity in the innate and adaptive immune systems.
With Equaly’s platform, therapeutic proteins and viral vectors can be optimized in a few simple steps:
- Using our algorithms, potentially immunogenic motifs in your protein are identified and ranked
- Protein variants are easily created and tested in vitro for NKT cell activation
- The most optimal proteins are selected and made ready for production
This platform can be used to improve:
- Monoclonal antibodies administered for the treatment of tumors or autoimmune diseases
- Coagulation factors for the correction of hemostasis defects
- Cytokines, cytokine receptors and soluble forms of surface proteins associated with immunosuppression in autoimmune or inflammatory diseases
- Enzymes administered for life-threatening storage diseases
- Viral vectors used for gene therapy and gene vaccination