ISD-Immunotech is developing a first-in-class therapy to treat the most severe Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. The therapy works by dampening the action of an intracellular protein called STimulator of INterferon Genes (STING). STING is part of the innate immune system, the body’s first line of defense against pathogen invaders like bacteria and viruses. When activated, STING ramps up production of inflammatory proteins called interferons and cytokines. STING overactivity has recently been linked to severe SLE. SLE is an autoimmune disease that can affect any organ of the body including the skin, joints, heart, kidneys, lungs, nervous system and others. As immune cells attack the body, inflammation, scarring, and permanent damage ensue, leading to worsened function and sometimes even organ failure and death.
Today there is no drug that can significantly alter the disease for severe SLE patients. ISD has shown that our lead prevents the development of SLE in a mouse model of SLE and reduces the interferon signature in a benchtop test of human patient blood samples. ISD-Immunotech's approach is unique in targeting STING, a new molecular target for SLE, eliciting dampening of multiple events implicated in SLE including IFN-1 levels, other cytokines and apoptosis for broader efficacy. Furthermore, ISD seeks to reduce the complexity of SLE clinical development by using a benchtop test to pre-select severe patients who respond the therapy instead of targeting the heterogenous SLE population.
Scientific Advisory Board
Prof. Søren Riis Paludan Chariman of SAB
Professor in Molecular Virology and immunology,
Dept. Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Denmark
Associate Professor at Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi
Prof. Betty Diamond
Professor & Head, Center for Autoimmune, Musculoskeletal & Hematopoietic Diseases
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Professor, Molecular Medicine & Medicine, Donald & Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
Articles by Betty Diamond
Porat, A., Giat, E., Kowal, C., He, M., Son, M., Latz, E., Ben-Zvi, I., Al-Abed, Y., … Diamond, B. (2018). DNA-Mediated Interferon Signature Induction by SLE Serum Occurs in Monocytes Through Two Pathways: A Mechanism to Inhibit Both Pathways. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 2824. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2018.02824
Bhattacharya, J., Pappas, K., Toz, B., Aranow, C., Mackay, M., Gregersen, P. K., Doumbo, O., Traore, A. K., Lesser, M. L., McMahon, M., Utset, T., Silverman, E., Levy, D., McCune, W. J., Jolly, M., Wallace, D., Weisman, M., Romero-Diaz, J., … Diamond, B. (2018). Serologic features of cohorts with variable genetic risk for systemic lupus erythematosus. Molecular medicine (Cambridge, Mass.), 24(1), 24. doi:10.1186/s10020-018-0019-4
Articles by Søren Riis Paludan
Holm, C. K., Rahbek, S. H., Gad, H. H., Bak, R. O., Jakobsen, M. R., Jiang, Z., Hansen, A. L., Jensen, S. K., Sun, C., Thomsen, M. K., Laustsen, A., Nielsen, C. G., Severinsen, K., Xiong, Y., Burdette, D. L., Hornung, V., Lebbink, R. J., Duch, M., Fitzgerald, K. A., Bahrami, S., Mikkelsen, J. G., Hartmann, R., … Paludan, S. R. (2016). Influenza A virus targets a cGAS-independent STING pathway that controls enveloped RNA viruses. Nature communications, 7, 10680. doi:10.1038/ncomms10680
About iSD Immunotech
iSD Immunotech is a spin-out of Aarhus University, Denmark and is dedicated to developing the first efficacious treatment - a targeted molecular therapy for the most severe SLE patients.