Publication Highlights Original Erythrocyte-Targeting Approach to Induce Immune Tolerance for Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases
Cambridge, Mass. and Lausanne, Switzerland, March 1, 2021 – Anokion SA, a Swiss biotechnology company focused on treating autoimmune disease by restoring normal immune tolerance, today announced the publication of data highlighting the company’s original erythrocyte binding technology in Science Immunology, which provides insight into the use of antigen-mediated immune tolerance. The published research was conducted in collaboration with Anokion’s academic co-founder and chief scientific advisor, Jeffrey A. Hubbell, Ph.D., and the University of Chicago.
“This publication showcases the novel science on which Anokion’s platform is built and underscores the potential therapeutic impact that immune tolerance can have on the treatment of people with autoimmune disorders,” said Stephan Kontos, Ph.D., co-founder and chief scientific officer of Anokion. “Our erythrocyte-targeting technology informed the basis of our novel liver-targeting approach, which we are applying for the development of our pipeline, including our two clinical programs, KAN-101 for celiac disease and ANK-700 for multiple sclerosis. We are excited to publish these data in collaboration with Jeff and the University of Chicago and are proud that our contributions may influence the development of medicines based on driving immune tolerance for patients around the world.”
The immune system is designed to target foreign antigens on the surfaces of viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens by activating specialized cells to address the threat. Antigen-presenting cells interact with T cells to produce an inflammatory response that neutralizes the invading pathogens. In healthy individuals, the immune system only targets foreign antigens, but in people with autoimmune diseases, the body’s own cells are targeted.
Autoimmunity has traditionally been treated through broad immunosuppression, but more recent efforts have focused on more targeted suppression of specific immune cells. The publication details one approach to suppress T cells in an antigen-specific manner by binding antigens to erythrocytes, or red blood cells, to induce T cell tolerance for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. The findings show that targeting antigens to erythrocytes in vivo leads to efficient presentation of antigen to T cells, the result of which drives antigen-specific T cells to suppresses inflammation and autoimmune pathology.
“These findings provide important insights into the field of immune tolerance, on both the cellular and subcellular level, unveiling specific details on the molecular pathways within T cells that can drive antigen-specific immune tolerance,” 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. “Importantly, this research could have broad implications on the future discovery and study of treatments for people suffering from autoimmune diseases.”
Anokion SA is a 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