Swecure AB, a Swedish biotechnology company focused on new treatment strategies for immunoregulatory diseases like allergy and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), has recently received a patent approval grant from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The patent refers to Swecure’s experimental product Swe01. Swe01 was developed as a therapeutic agent against allergies and is considered the world’s first preventive treatment for the condition. The development of Swe01 was based on 15 years of clinical research and the finding that infants, who were colonized in the gut by a bacterium strain called Staphylococcus aureus, were protected from developing future food allergy. Researchers identified the S. aureus protein (also referred to as superantigen) that was responsible for the activation of the immunological tolerance mechanisms, preventing the development of allergic reactions.
The findings have been confirmed in animal models, where neonatal mice given the S. aureus superantigen had an increased capacity to develop tolerance towards an allergic antigen (Ovalbumin in this case), resulting in an increased protection against allergic sensitization.
Swe01 was designed to be administered to infants during the first weeks after birth so that it can stimulate their immature immune system, and potentially offer a protective effect against allergies and prevent the development of inflammatory diseases like IBD.
The patent on Swe01, now approved in the United States, has been previously approved in Europe. “This US patent approval complements the earlier European approval and further enhances Swecure’s proprietary position,” said the CEO of Swecure AB Lars Fahlén in a press release. “We are convinced that Swe01 will meet a significant need in the medical market and the approved patents will allow us to protect our technology as we continue our research and product development.”
The company is currently testing Swe01 in a double-blind, proof-of-concept pre-clinical study in dogs. Results are expected early next year, but so far, no animals have shown severe side effects with the Swe01 treatment.
IBD is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract that is characterized by vomiting, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, internal cramps in the pelvis region, fatigue and weight loss. It is estimated that the disorder affects approximately two million children and adults in the United States.