Immune Modulation – Tregitopes
Tregitopes, discovered by Anne De Groot and Bill Martin at EpiVax, are linear sequences of amino acids contained within the framework of monoclonal antibodies and immunoglobulin G; the original finding was published in the journal Blood in 2008. Since their discovery, EpiVax has compiled substantial evidence linking Tregitopes to the activation of natural regulatory T cells. By selectively activating these natural regulatory T cells, Tregitopes can dampen unwanted immune responses.
Preliminary studies carried out by EpiVax and collaborators indicate that Tregitopes may be useful for inducing tolerance to transplants, protein drugs, and blood replacement therapies, as well as for the treatment of allergies. EpiVax believes Tregitopes may explain the effectiveness of intravenous immunoglobulin G (IVIG), widely utilized as an autoimmune treatment.
NIH SBIR grants coupled with private foundation funds have brought total pre-clinical funding for Tregitopes to more than $3.4M in the past 4 years.
- Tregitope applications to Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes (T1D) is an organ-specific autoimmune disease, resulting from destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta-cells. Preliminary studies demonstrate that “Tregitopes” specifically induce natural Tregs and, when co-administered with an antigen, lead to expansion of antigen-specific regulatory T cells. Modulation of auto-immune responses to autologous epitopes by induction of antigen-specific tolerance may prevent ongoing beta-cell destruction, thus restoring the production of insulin.
- Tregitope applications to Allergy
More than half of all U.S. citizens test positive to one or more allergens, and allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic disease. T helper type 2 (Th2) effector cells represent the dominant T cell subset activated by allergens and contribute to the production of allergen-specific IgE antibodies involved in allergic hypersensitivity. Restoration of the natural, tolerant state to common environmental allergens from a Th2-skewed allergic response is the ultimate goal in allergen-specific immunotherapy. We are exploring the use of Tregitopes to modulate responses to allergens through adaptive tolerance induction as a form of treatment.
Tregitope Publications – http://www.epivax.com/publications/tregitope-publications/
Tregitope Posters – http://www.epivax.com/publications/epivax-posters/
EpiVax is currently licensing Tregitope under 1 year option + license agreements. For more information on Tregitope and licensing opportunities please contact Anthony Marcello at Amarcello@epivax.com.