Allergic disease and ToleroMune® treatments
Without therapy, allergy sufferers’ immune systems react as if under threat when they encounter specific proteins (such as in pollen or cat dander) that wouldn’t be harmful normally. Allergens bind to and cross-link IgE antibodies on the surface of mast cells, causing them to release inflammatory mediators, such as histamine. This results in the typical troublesome early-phase allergy symptoms (such as sneezing and itching), which in some cases can result in severe and even potentially fatal anaphylactic reactions.
Allergens are also taken up by antigen presenting cells and ‘presented’ to naïve T cells. These differentiate largely into T helper 2 cells (Th2), and Th1 cells, and a small fraction become regulatory T cells (Treg). When antigens are subsequently presented, the T helper cells secrete inflammatory compounds that result in late-phase allergic responses, typically a few hours after exposure to the allergen. In addition, these inflammatory compounds stimulate the production of B cells, which produce the IgE antibodies that bind to mast cells resulting in the early-phase symptoms.
Our ToleroMune® technology creates mixtures of synthetic peptides specifically selected to induce tolerance to specific allergies with a short course of treatment. The peptides are designed to interact selectively with allergen-specific T cells while also being too short for the cross-linking of IgE antibodies on mast cells that can result in histamine release leading to acute allergic reactions. The selected peptides are immuno-regulatory epitopes with the ability to activate specific T cells, including the potential to stimulate naïve T cells to differentiate into regulatory T cells.
Regulatory T cells have an inhibitory effect on the allergic response, and in particular inhibit T-helper cells (Th1 and Th2) stopping the secretion of inflammatory molecules that irritate the lungs and airways and cause coughing, mucus secretion and breathing difficulties (the late-phase response). Regulatory T cells also have an inhibitory effect on mast cells, which can prevent histamine release and the inflammatory cascade that leads to sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes caused by the early-phase allergic response.
Synthetic Peptide Immuno-Regulatory Epitopes (SPIREs)
The peptides identified using our ToleroMune® technology are produced entirely synthetically to current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) standards. As a result, these therapies are Synthetic Peptide Immuno-Regulatory Epitopes (SPIREs). These offer the potential of well tolerated, simple, short course immunotherapy.
SPIREs Potential Benefits
- Long-lasting symptom relief
- Highly favorable safety
- Short-course therapy
- Simple, standardized doses
- Patient-friendly MicronJet delivery