Home News Idogen one of ten companies selected for field-leading event

Idogen one of ten companies selected for field-leading event


Idogen one of ten companies selected for field-leading event

7 February, 2023

Biotech company Idogen was invited to attend The Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation’s “3rd Summit for NMOSD Tolerization” in Los Angeles on January 20-22. A total of ten companies from Europe and the US were invited, all with the goal of curing autoimmune diseases by restoring immune tolerance. The focus of the event was the autoimmune disease Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders (NMOSD).

Idogen is a biotech company in Lund that develops tolerogenic cell therapies to create tolerance when the immune system has been unwantedly activated. The company’s main focus right now is patients with hemophilia A who have developed antibodies against factor VIII treatment. The goal of Idogen’s cell therapy program IDO 8 is to induce tolerance so that the patient can regain the effect of the FVII treatment.

The company’s pipeline also includes two other therapeutic areas – tolerance to avoid organ rejection in kidney transplantation (IDO T), and tolerance treatment of severe and rare autoimmune diseases (IDO AID).

Tolerogenic cell therapy for autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases are a large group of diseases in which the body is attacked in various ways by its own immune system. The goal of IDO AID is to counteract the unwanted activation of the immune system by reprogramming it to tolerate specific antigens, i.e., the molecules that provoke the immune reaction. This “reset” is expected to stop the disease-causing immune reaction.

Today, autoimmune diseases are treated with immunosuppressive drugs that suppress the entire immune system, which in turn can be problematic, with unwanted side effects as a result. Idogen’s cell therapy has the potential to reduce or eliminate the need for immunosuppressive drugs.

The Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation

Recently, Idogen’s treatment principle was acknowledged by The Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation (GJCF), an American non-profit foundation that focuses on research and development in Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders (NMOSD).

This is a rare autoimmune disease that causes pain in the eyes and visual impairment due to inflammation of the optic nerve, as well as impaired sensation and paralysis in the legs and arms due to inflammation of the spinal cord. Other parts of the central nervous system can also be affected, such as the brainstem and the brain. NMOSD can sometimes be mistaken for MS as the two diseases share many symptoms.

The purpose of GJCF is to support and gather research to increase understanding of the pathogenesis, improve diagnostics and treatment, and find a cure for the disease. The organisation started 15 years ago and has since contributed to great progress in the field through global collaborations.

Idogen one of ten selected companies for worldleading event in California

On January 20-22, GJCF hosted the 3rd Summit for NMOSD Tolerization at the University of California, Los Angeles. The event brought together 15 world-leading key opinion leaders and experts in NMOSD and immunotolerance. In addition, 10 companies were invited to present their technologies aimed at restoring immune tolerance to cure NMOSD. Idogen was one of the companies that were invited, which they recently commented on in a press release:

»We were honored to be invited to this field-leading event of the GJCF. Idogen sees this invitation as a recognition of Idogen’s emerging cell therapy-based technology platform that has potential for use to tolerize NMOSD and perhaps other autoimmune diseases« – Christina Herder, acting CEO

Well-defined antigen – important for Idogen’s method

Particularly the AQP4-positive disease form is of interest because of its well-defined antigen, which is important for the development of Idogen’s cell therapy. Idogen uses monocytes from the patient’s blood, as well as the company’s tolerance inducer in combination with a specific antigen, to develop so-called tolerogenic dendritic cells. The only change that is needed when switching to a new disease is the change of antigen.

In addition to NMOSD, Idogen has identified several autoimmune diseases where there is a well-defined antigen and where the immune reaction is T-cell-driven, i.e., where there is potential for IDO AID. The focus will primarily be on rare diseases with the possibility of orphan drug designation as it provides regulatory and cost benefits.

The initiated clinical study “Toler8” within the IDO 8 program has the potential to clinically validate the technology platform for a range of autoimmune diseases, with NMOSD as natural next step.

The content of BioStock’s news and analyses is independent but the work of BioStock is to a certain degree financed by life science companies. The above article concerns a company from which BioStock has received financing.

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