Study on Protein Receptor’s Role in IBD Supports Decision to Develop Blocking Therapy, OSE Says

Study on Protein Receptor’s Role in IBD Supports Decision to Develop Blocking Therapy, OSE Says
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A study that OSE Immunotherapeutics conducted on the role that a protein receptor plays in bowel disease supports its development of a treatment that blocks the receptor, the company reports.

It designed OSE-127 (Effi-7) to help inflammatory bowel disease patients who fail to respond to treatments that suppress their immune system. OSE-127 blocks the interleukin-7 receptor.

OSE presented the study’s finding at the 11th European Workshop on Immune Mediated Inflammatory Diseases in Paushuis-Utrecht, the Netherlands, in mid-December. The title of the presentation was “Interleukin-7 receptor pathway controls human T cell homing to the gut and predicts response to anti-TNFα in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.”

The discovery sheds light on why preclinical-trial studies showed that OSE-127 works. The studies demontrasted that it prevents immune T-cells from reaching an inflamed colon, where they can do more damage. Blocking the T-cells from reaching the colon prevents the destruction of mucus that the gut needs to protect itself.

Previous studies have linked a protein known as interleukin-7, or IL-7, with a variety of autoimmune diseases, including IBD. An autoimmune disease is one in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue instead of invaders.

IL-7 is an important immune cell regulator. When inflammed tissue produces IL-7, T-cells go to the site of the inflammation to attack the protein. The T-cells then activate other immune cells, aggravating the inflammation and worsening the disease.

OSE-127 is an antibody that blocks the IL-7 receptor, preventing T-cells from entering gut tissue and reducing inflammation.

OSE Immunotherapeutics researchers used a database to examine the genetic makeup of colon tissue biopsies from 500 IBD patients and 100 healthy controls.

They discovered that the IL-7 receptor was over-active in the colon tissue of IBD patients who had failed to respond to treatment with corticosteroids, immunosuppressors or anti-TNFα therapy. There was a particularly strong link between IL-7 receptor over-activity and failed anti-TNFα treatment, they said.

IL-7 receptor over-activity in bowel disease patients who had failed to respond to other treatments underscores the potential of “a treatment targeting this receptor,” Nicolas Poirier, OSE Immunotherapeutics’ scientific director, said in a press release.

The research on human tissue, combined with the success of the preclinical-trial studies of OSE-127, “reinforce the rationale for OSE-127 as a leading emerging therapy in chronic inflammation,” he said. The company plans to start clinical trials of the therapy this year, he said.

With over three years of experience in the medical communications business, Catarina holds a BSc. in Biomedical Sciences and a MSc. in Neurosciences. Apart from writing, she has been involved in patient-oriented translational and clinical research.
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With over three years of experience in the medical communications business, Catarina holds a BSc. in Biomedical Sciences and a MSc. in Neurosciences. Apart from writing, she has been involved in patient-oriented translational and clinical research.
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