The idea is to develop vaccines and companion diagnostics for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The idea is built on (i) knowledge that the immune systems harbors a capacity for specific reregulation of its actions, both in increasing its actions (e.g. existing vaccination against polio, measles etc.) and in decreasing its actions (“vaccinations” against autoimmune diseases, which has so far been executed successfully in animal models where enough is known about specificity for disease-inducing immunity); (ii) an insight that a major hurdle for development of “specific immunotherapy” (vaccination) in human autoimmune disease is a lack of enough understanding of the specificity of disease-inducing immune reactions in the human conditions; (iii) very significant progress that is currently being made within my ERC-funded project and in other groups concerning specificity of arthritis-inducing immunity in subsets of RA where these subsets are defined by the combined actions of genes, environment and immunity; most importantly, we have been able to define the specific structures (MHC classII-peptide complexes) that are recognized by potentially disease-inducing Tcells in RA. This has been a major lacking feature for the development of specific immunotherapies in this disease.
We will use the ERC PoC funds to improve our understanding of the industry landscape and regulatory requirements, secure strategic collaborations, broaden and strengthen our patent portfolio, set-up a limited IPR based company set up and develop an attractive “investors package”. By the end of the period we will seek financing from private investors. Our team consists of the ERC grant holder (Lars Klareskog), a prominent animal arthritis experimentalist (Rikard Holmdahl), a prominent cell immunologist (Vivianne Malmström), and two colleagues with a large experience in establishing start-ups, IPR management and venture capital funding.
Fields of science
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