A Therapeutic For Anti-inflammatory & Autoimmune Diseases - KM01-051-01 & KM01-166-01

Synthetic and natural immunomodulatory molecules that abrogate inflammatory and autoimmune diseases

Technology Overview:
With nearly 20% of the developed world suffering or developing autoimmune and inflammatory related diseases and with no known cure, there is a growing and urgent need for more specific and effective therapeutics. Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have discovered a novel method of suppressing the induction of a specific subtype of T cell responses in vivo, which are fundamental players in autoimmune and inflammatory related diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ulcerative colitis and allergies.

The technology is part of an earlier discovery which demonstrated that TCT, a virulence factor of Bordetella pertussis, can bind intracellular pathogen recognition receptors on innate immune cells. Parenteral administration of TCT suppressed the induction of T cells responses directed by dendritic cells in vitro and by direct administration with antigens in vivo. In animal models of human diseases, TCT attenuated acute graft-versus host disease and slowed the onset and clinical signs of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model of multiple sclerosis.

More recently, the Researchers have demonstrated the immunosuppressive properties of another more potent TCT-like synthetic peptide molecule, which also has the ability to specifically significantly reduce the induction of a population of T cells in vitro and in vivo in the EAE model.

  • The specificity of the technology is far superior to current treatments which involve non specific therapies with significant side effects such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs. Whilst they ameliorate symptoms of the disease, they do not prevent the progression of the disease.
  • Both molecules, TCT and the synthetic analog, specifically target subtypes of T cells that are key players in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and thus are not likely to be broadly immunosuppressive as with current broad spectrum treatments.
  • Can be used as a platform therapeutic to treat a variety of autoimmune and inflammatory related diseases.
  • Both TCT and the synthetic analog are low molecular weight molecules, allowing for the development of molecular mimetics, with easy synthesis, scale up and delivery.

    Development Stage:
    The efficacy of technology has been demonstrated in vivo, in animal models of MS and shown to be extremely effective in abrogating progression of the disease. The mechanism of action underlying the TCT/Peptide inhibition of T cell subtype is currently under investigation.

    Principal Inventor(s):
    Prof. Kingston Mills, Dr. Ed Lavelle and Dr. Sarah Higgins

    Publications: N/A

    Patent: WO07118901A2: Methods and compositions for modulating an immune response. A related second priority application was filed in Dec '08

    TCD Ref: KM01-051-01 & KM01-166-01

    Contact: Emily Vereker, PhD Technology Transfer Case Manager-Life Sciences
    Tel: + 353 1 896-4152
    Email: emily.vereker@tcd.ie