A New Class of Immunomodulatory Drugs for Multiple Sclerosis: Collaborative Research and Licensing Opportunity

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease caused by activated autoimmune T lymphocytes in patients resulting in inflammatory demyelination in the central nervous system. A specific therapy aimed at eliminating these autoimmune T cells through restimulation-induced cell death (RICD) could cure the disease and overcome the fatal side effects of current therapies. NIAID inventors have identified a multi-valent tolerogen (MMPt), which can specifically elicit RICD of the activated, disease causing autoimmune T cells without compromising the general T cell-dependent immunity in the host. Animal studies have demonstrated that MMPt exerts robust therapeutic effects on both monophasic as well as relapsing-remitting type of the disease, indicating its medical applicability for treating MS patients with active disease.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease caused by activated autoimmune T lymphocytes in patients resulting in inflammatory demyelination in the central nervous system. Current treatments are focused on functional control of these activated autoimmune T cells, but these treatments are non-specific T cell inhibitors and have serious, sometimes fatal side effects. A specific therapy aimed at eliminating these autoimmune T cells through restimulation-induced cell death (RICD) could cure the disease and overcome the fatal side effects of current therapies. NIAID inventors have identified a multi-valent tolerogen (MMPt), which can specifically elicit RICD of the activated, disease causing autoimmune T cells without compromising the general T cell-dependent immunity in the host. Animal studies have demonstrated that MMPt exerts robust therapeutic effects on both monophasic as well as relapsing-remitting type of the disease, indicating its medical applicability for treating MS patients with active disease. NIAID is seeking partners to develop this multi-valent peptide to improve its efficacy for use in clinical trials. 

This technology is available for licensing for commercial development in accordance with 35 U.S.C. § 209 and 37 CFR Part 404, as well as for further development and evaluation under a research collaboration.  

Potential Commercial Applications: 

  • Therapeutics 

Competitive Advantages: 

  • Tolerogen induced elimination of activated autoimmune T cells will overcome the fatal side effects of current therapies
  • Treatment of all types of MS patients 

Development Stage: 

  • Preclinical (In vitro and in vivo animal studies) 

Inventors:  Dr. Michael J. Lenardo (NIAID), Dr. Lixin Zheng (NIAID), Dr. Jian Li (NIAID), Dr. Jae Lee (NIAID), and Dr. Wei Lu (NIAID).

Intellectual Property:  U.S. Provisional Patent Application Numbers:  62/130,285 filed March 9, 2015 and 62/219,851 filed September 17, 2015, and US PCT application PCT/US2016/021571 filed on March 9, 2016.  Entered National Stage filing in US, EU, Canada, and Australia.

Licensing Contact:  Yogikala Prabhu, Ph.D., 301-761-7789; prabhuyo@niaid.nih.gov.

Collaborative Research and Licensing Opportunity:  The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize the MMPt peptide to improve its efficacy for use in clinical trials. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Yogikala Prabhu, Ph.D., 301-761-7789; prabhuyo@niaid.nih.gov.

Medium nih niaidweb

NIAID Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office

NIAID’s technology transfer office, TTIPO, is a one-stop resource for organizations interested in partnering with NIAID to access, develop, and manage the translation of research discoveries into medically beneficial products. TTIPO seeks to expand NIAID’s innovation pipeline with existing and new partners in areas such as newly emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (e.g., dengue, Zika, Ebola, influenza, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and HIV/AIDS), biodefense (e.g., smallpox and anthrax), and immune-mediated diseases (e.g., asthma and allergy).

No comments yet.