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DIEPENBEEK, Belgium, September 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Scientists discover how to 'switch off' autoimmune diseases
Apitope, the drug discovery and development company focused on disease-modifying treatments for patients with autoimmune and allergic diseases, announced today that Bristol University research led by Apitope Founder and CSO, Prof David Wraith, on its treatment approach to autoimmune diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), has been published in Nature Communications.
The researchers at the University of Bristol reported an important breakthrough in the fight against debilitating autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis. Rather than the body's immune system destroying its own tissue by mistake, researchers have discovered how cells convert from being aggressive to actually protecting against disease. It's hoped this latest insight will lead to the widespread use of antigen-specific immunotherapy as a treatment for many autoimmune disorders, including Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Factor VIII intolerance in haemophiliacs, Graves' disease (hyperthyroidism) and uveitis, conditions for which Apitope is developing important new therapies.
Commenting on the research, Dr. Keith Martin, CEO said: "Multiple Sclerosis affects around 100,000 people in the UK and 2.5 million people worldwide. This is an important breakthrough in our fight against debilitating autoimmune diseases by providing further important information on how to stop cells attacking healthy body tissue. This research further reinforces Apitope's treatment approach, which has already successfully completed two clinical trials in MS patients with MRI data showing a significant decrease in new lesions, and has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide. Importantly, we are now taking this approach into other serious autoimmune conditions as well as MS."
The reported study, funded by the Wellcome Trust, is published in Nature Communications. The article entitled "Sequential transcriptional changes dictate safe and effective antigen-specific immunotherapy" that describes how researchers have managed to "switch off" autoimmune disease as a breakthrough for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) treatment, can be viewed here: http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140903/ncomms5741/full/ncomms5741.html
Apitope International NV, based in Belgium and the UK, is a world-class drug developer of immunotherapies for the treatment of autoimmune and allergic diseases, including multiple sclerosis, factor VIII intolerance, uveitis and Graves' disease. The Company has a patented discovery platform which enables selection of potential disease-modifying peptide therapies for the autoimmune/allergic disease of interest; and has already generated a pipeline of 7 programmes in clinical and preclinical development, of which the lead programme in multiple sclerosis is partnered with Merck Serono. The discovery engine selects Apitopes® - Antigen Processing Independent epiTOPES. Apitopes® are soluble, synthetic peptides from the human sequence which can selectively suppress abnormal immune responses and reinstate the normal immune balance (Larche M, Wraith DC. Peptide-based therapeutic vaccines for allergic and autoimmune diseases. Nat Med 2005;11:S69-76). Stakeholders in the company include the Wellcome Trust, LRM, Vesalius Biocapital and the US MS charity, Fast Forward. For more information on the company, please visit: http://www.apitope.com.
For further information:
Apitope International N.V.
Dr. Keith Martin, CEO
Mary Clark, Supriya Mathur, Hollie Vile
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