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ImmusanT's Epitope-Specific Immunotherapy for Celiac Disease Informs the Potential of Vaccines Against Other Autoimmune Diseases
Date:4/19/2013

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease and Type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system attacks its own cells. Current treatments for many autoimmune disorders are limited to immunosuppressants, but researchers are exploring the possibility of using therapeutic vaccines known as antigen-specific immunotherapy. Currently a vaccine that is designed to allow patients with celiac disease to eat gluten (the antigen) is in clinical trials. ImmusanT, the company developing the celiac vaccine, and its research partners are utilizing their expertise in celiac disease as a model to increase understanding of antigen-specific immunotherapy for autoimmune diseases. Recent review articles highlight advances made in designing immunotherapies and new methods for monitoring celiac disease as well as other autoimmune disorders such as Type 1 diabetes.

Authors Bob Anderson and Bana Jabri describe in Current Opinion in Immunology how identification of pathogenic T cell epitopes (segment of the antigen) and recent initiatives to optimize immune monitoring have facilitated rational vaccine design in human autoimmune diseases.

"Celiac disease is the first opportunity we have had to design and test epitope-specific immunotherapy with a thorough understanding of disease-causing T cell epitopes. This is truly customized immunotherapy for patients with celiac disease according to their genetics and the molecular specificity of their immune response to gluten," said Bob Anderson , PhD, MBChB, Chief Scientific Officer of ImmusanT.

In a Perspectives article in Nature Reviews Immunology, Drs. Bana Jabri and <
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SOURCE ImmusanT, Inc.
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