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Rethinking T1D: Saving Beta Cells with Targeted Immunotherapy

Immune diseases like type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis can lead to severe complications in patients, yet there are currently very limited treatment options which mitigate their impact at best and no opportunity for a cure. However, the discovery of a new technology platform at Belgium’s KU Leuven Hospital offers new hope for these patients. Imotopes™ are modified HLA class II epitopes which block the immune processes that cause immune-mediated diseases, providing a potentially curative approach to severe chronic diseases. Imotopes™ induce cytolytic T cells that specifically eliminate antigen-presenting cells without affecting other functions of the immune system, intervening and stopping an autoimmune response at a time when attacked tissues can still regenerate. Imotopes™ is the product of Imcyse, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Lieges, Belgium, pioneering the development of this new class of active, specific immunotherapies. This technology is most advanced in the area of Type 1 Diabetes, with the development of IMCY-0098. IMCY-0098 is a novel insulin-based Imotope™. In August 2019, Imcyse presented promising results from its first in human trial, a phase Ib safety study with IMCY-0098 in patients with early type 1 diabetes (T1D): IMCY-0098 is safe, well-tolerated, does not accelerate disease and is associated with immune modulation. Imcyse is working with top clinicians at KU Leuven, as well as being part of INNODIA, a global partnership to fight Type 1 Diabetes. Through INNODIA’s Patient Advisory Committee Imcyse will ensure they deliver the treatment that Type 1 Diabetes patients want and need. As clinical trials progress and basic research continues, the Imotope™ technology platform has the potential to address a wide range of indications in the vast field of immunology from diabetes to even less treatable conditions – with the potential to create a paradigm shift in the way these conditions are treated.


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