The currently available therapies for managing multiple sclerosis (MS) are inadequate in efficiency and can lead to serious side effects. In collaboration with KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Region Stockholm, researchers have discovered a technique for identifying immune cells involved in autoimmune diseases.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system that usually develops between the ages of 20 and 40. The disease is driven by immune cells that mistakenly attack the tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord. MS has long been linked to neurological maladies, including sagging and unable to walk. There are currently no treatments, but these are only programs that help reduce relapse rates and alleviate symptoms.
The validity of existing MS treatments is quite limited in its effect on the immune system, which is susceptible to, according to Mattias Bronge, a PhD student at the Karolinska Institutet, causing complications. Future treatments more precisely can therefore result in greater efficacy and less side effects.
Gronlund and his team have developed a method that allows to identify T cells that react to certain target molecules called autoantigens. The present study outlines four new autoantigens that may be added to the handful of previously identified in MS and will significant impact on future diagnostic and treatment.
According to Hans Gronlund, the system of immunology allows us to identify and postpone these autoantigens in a manner that assists us in resolving and postponing the T cells that are reacting to them.
Given that people with MS may react to different autoantigens, it is important to identify each patient''s disease-driving immune cells. This technique of creating personalized therapy is called precision medicine.
Unlike MS, the individual autoantigen profile can be arranged accordingly, according to Dr Gronlund. If we can find a way to target them in autoimmune diseases, we may also lead to more precise treatment options with less side effects for other autoimmune diseases. This step will be included in a phase 2 clinical study that seeks to eradicate aggressive T cells.
63 proteins were analysed in blood samples from MS patients and healthy controls, four of whom demonstrated autoimmune reactivity in MS, according to KI, KTH, and Region Stockholm.
Vinnova, the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Brain Fund, the Margareta af Uggla Foundation, and Region Stockholm have funded the study.Hans Gronlund, the founder ofNEOGAP Therapeutics, which has patented the technique used and jointly holds the patent for autoantigens featured in the study with Mattias Bronge, is a co-author of NEOGAP Therapeutics AB.