Grants awarded

Hypersialylated fragment crystallisable regions for the treatment of antibody-mediated central nervous system demyelination and microglial activation

Grantholder:

Prof Richard Pleass

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

United Kingdom

Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is a key therapy for the treatment of immune-mediated neuropathies, including chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy (CIDP) and Guillain-Barre syndrome. The worldwide consumption of IVIg has increased more than 300-fold since 1980 and approximately 100 tons are consumed each year. Less than 5% of injected IVIg is therapeutically active meaning that high treatment doses are needed and adverse events due to excessive protein loading sometimes occurs. There is a dependence on human donors for manufacture and global supplies are critically limited, making IVIg expensive. 

I have developed a means to manufacture recombinant hypersialylated fragment crystallisable regions that bind critical receptors implicated in CIDP. Together with Professor Norbert Goebels and colleagues at the University of Dusseldorf, we will test whether lead molecules protect in pre-clinical models of CIDP, a prerequisite for translation to human studies.

These findings could lead to a cheaper, safer, and more effective alternative to IVIg.