Novel target in NK cell mediated antigen specific memory responses

Summary

The von Andrian laboratory discovered a novel mechanism for inducing antigen specific immunological memory. Their research examines the role of a molecular target not previously known to be associated with the natural killer (NK) cell mediated adaptive immune response.

NK cells play a major role in the rejection of tumors and cells infected by viruses, and are also known to mediate contact hypersensitivity (CHS) responses. The von Andrian laboratory showed that interference of the molecular target with its only known ligand abolishes NK cell mediated responses to contact sensitizers, Influenza A and Vesicular Stomatitis Virus. They further demonstrated that these NK cell mediated responses are abolished in mice with a genetic deficiency of the molecular target.

These findings, along with the infrastructure, IP, and knowhow possessed by the von Andrian lab, form the basis for a drug discovery program targeting the molecule, or its only known ligand, for the induction of antigen specific immunologic memory.

This technology is available for worldwide, exclusive licensing and/or a collaborative research program with the von Andrian laboratory.

Intellectual Property Status: Patent(s) Pending

Applications

Targeting this molecule on NK cells, or its only known ligand, has several therapeutic opportunities:

• Pharmaceutical targeting in NK cell mediated pathology: Allergic responses, including contact hypersensitivity responses, and celiac disease may be alleviated by disruption of the target’s biological activity on NK cells.
• Pharmaceutical targeting in infectious disease: Modulation of the target’s biological activity on NK cells may enhance anti-viral, anti-parasite, anti-bacterial responses in patients who do not benefit from established treatments.
• Novel vaccine strategies: NK cell mediated adaptive immunity may be enhanced by co-targeting this molecule during immunization.

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