Autoimmune diseases (AD) affect 5-10% of the global population and require chronic palliative treatments, resulting in lower quality of life and great costs for society. Moreover, a steady rise in the incidence of some AD such as Type 1 diabetes (T1D) has been detected worldwide. Main treatments for T1D are currently based on the continuous administration of exogenous insulin, but none of the 20 existing marketed insulins can achieve a sustained glycaemic level control. Thus, they cannot fully prevent T1D’s long term and acute side effects.
Ahead Therapeutics is a start-up company exploiting a proprietary encapsulation technology to develop treatments for different AD. It has developed an innovative solution for T1D based on the use of liposomes containing auto-autoantigens. Through a biomimetic process, these liposomes can induce antigen specific immune tolerance, stopping the autoimmune reaction and allowing insulin-producing β-cells to recover. Despite its potential for preventive use, Ahead’s treatment is mainly foreseen as a therapeutic reverse vaccine on the onset of T1D, leading to a permanent cure of the disease.
Ahead solution has several competitive advantages derived from its biomimetic/physiologic mechanism of action: long-lasting/permanent effect, non-systemic immunosuppressive, no secondary effects/toxicity, low-cost production, complementary with other therapies.
The liposome-based platform has already been validated in animal models and preclinical non-regulatory assays are being completed. Current feasibility study will be now focus on defining a Regulatory Roadmap & IPR strategy, enlarging key partners network, discover new potential licensees, scaling up liposomes production and analyse deeper market & competitors.
LIPOBITS is a solid high-potential innovation project expected to support Ahead’s global dimension and to generate 7 high qualified jobs total incomes of 10,5 M€ by 2022, and < 300 M € considering the whole life cycle of the asset.
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