Data Showed Reduced Antigen-specific T-cell Responses Across Preclinical Models, Demonstrating Potential to Address Broad Range of Autoimmune Diseases
Cambridge, Mass. and Lausanne, Switzerland, Sept. 19, 2023 – Anokion SA, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on treating autoimmune disease by restoring normal immune tolerance, announced today a peer-reviewed publication in Nature Biomedical Engineering that supports its novel, targeted approach to treating autoimmune disease. The immune tolerance therapies described in the publication, and on which Anokion’s proprietarily engineered antigen platform is based, reduced antigen-specific T-cell responses in multiple models of pre-existing immunity. Additionally, in murine models of multiple sclerosis (MS), treatment significantly reduced pathology, prevented relapse and resulted in maintained motor function. The preclinical research was conducted in collaboration with Anokion’s academic co-founder, Jeffrey A. Hubbell, Ph.D., and the University of Chicago.
“I am pleased to be part of this work, which showed targeted suppression of established T-cell immunity in multiple models and disease improvement,” said Dr. Hubbell, co-founder, chief scientific advisor of Anokion, and also professor at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. “These data support the potential for antigen-specific immune tolerance therapy to address the underlying cause of autoimmune disorders and provide an alternative to global immunosuppression.”
As highlighted in the publication, the liver-targeted technology was evaluated in chronic and relapsing-remitting (R/R) models of MS. In the chronic model, treatment resulted in antigen-specific tolerance against previously activated T-cells both before and after onset of tissue pathology. When administered before onset, treatment showed protection from pathology; after initial onset, treatment resulted in reduced disease scores over time and significantly lower clinical scores at the study endpoint compared to the untreated groups. Additionally, the T-cells secreted lower levels of inflammatory cytokines, upon antigen re-stimulation.
Following remission in the R/R model, treatment prevented relapse and resulted in maintenance of motor function for the course of the study. Additionally, the treated group showed the highest level of T-cell inhibition and reduction in IL-17A production, a T-cell cytokine, compared to controls. These data, combined with reduced lymphocytes in key tissues, including the spinal cord, suggest improvements in disease were due to treatment-induced immune tolerance. Additional work in non-human primates (NHPs) demonstrated antigen-specific immune tolerance following a vaccine-induced T-cell response.
“The data in this peer-reviewed publication provide additional support for our novel immune tolerance platform. This related research, with restoration of immune tolerance in models of pre-existing immunity and direct impact on disease, further increases our confidence in the ability of our technology to translate into disease-modifying therapies for a range of autoimmune diseases,” said Deborah Geraghty, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Anokion. “We have now observed our approach play out in the clinic with early data from our lead programs in celiac disease and multiple sclerosis, KAN-101 and ANK-700, that demonstrated antigen-specific tolerance, bystander suppression, and an impact on disease-specific biomarkers. We are committed to moving our platform forward, and we would like to thank Jeff and the University of Chicago for their partnership on this important early research.”
Anokion recently completed patient enrollment early in the MAD portion of its MoveS-it Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating ANK-700 for the treatment of patients with RRMS, and reported encouraging preliminary biomarker data that showed trends in antigen-specific immune tolerance and evidence of bystander suppression related to myelin antigens.
Anokion SA is a clinical-stage Swiss biotechnology company that aims to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients suffering from autoimmune diseases by restoring normal immune tolerance. The company is focused on both prevalent and rare autoimmune diseases, including celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes. Anokion’s distinct approach leverages the company’s immune-based platform, which targets natural pathways in the liver to restore immune tolerance and address the underlying cause of autoimmune disease. For more information, please visit anokion.com.
THRUST Strategic Communications