Induction of Antigen-Specific Immune Tolerance Using Proprietary Technology Represents Novel, Targeted Treatment Modality for Autoimmune Diseases
Cambridge, Mass. and Lausanne, Switzerland, September 13, 2019 – AnokionSA, a Swiss biotechnology company focused on treating autoimmune disease by restoring normal immune tolerance, today announced new preclinical data describing its potentially transformative therapeutic approach for multiple sclerosis (MS) at the 35thCongress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Stockholm. The poster, titled “Targeted Antigen Delivery to the Liver Induces Antigen-Specific Immune Tolerance and Modulates Pathology in Preclinical Models of Autoimmunity” (P1362), was presented by Stephan Kontos, Ph.D., co-founder and chief scientific officer of Anokion.
In MS, several autoantigens in the central nervous system (CNS) are the target of inflammatory attack by self-reactive T cells that drive neurodegeneration resulting in disease pathology. Currently available therapies for MS inhibit the function of T and B cells with the goal of reducing pathogenic T cell infiltration into the CNS. While effective at reducing symptoms, most of these treatments carry risks of infection and other complications associated with broad immunosuppression.
By harnessing natural immune tolerance pathways in the liver, Anokion aims to address the underlying mechanism of MS with a potentially transformative therapeutic approach that induces antigen-specific tolerance to CNS autoantigens and treats neuroinflammation. In preclinical models, the tolerogenic T cell mechanisms induced by Anokion’s potent, liver-targeting technology were effective at preventing or reducing disease pathology for both MS and type-1 diabetes. In a mouse model of MS, liver targeted MOG antigen induced pathogenic T cell anergy and deletion, resulting in protection from disease onset and therapeutic remission when tolerized during active disease. These data were consistent with functional and mechanistic findings in a non-human primate model, supporting the translational potential in treating human autoimmune diseases, such as MS.
“The preclinical data reported today are the first-ever presented by Anokion at a medical meeting and support the planned clinical development of ANK-780 to address the underlying cause of MS,” said Dr. Kontos. “Our proprietary liver-targeting technology harnesses natural tolerance pathways in the liver to re-educate the immune system to differentiate harmful versus healthy antigens, thereby reducing or resolving autoimmune attacks and restoring normal immune tolerance. These encouraging results illustrate the unique potential of ANK-780 to induce antigen-specific tolerance, and we look forward to initiating clinical development with this novel agent for the treatment of MS in 2020.”
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