COUR Pharmaceuticals uses an integrated materials science and immunology platform to engineer nanoparticles for the treatment of various autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. COUR is trying to develop the first clinical “tolerance inducing” therapy.
Immune modifying nanoparticles (IMP) for the treatment of inflammatory diseases-These are nanoparticles that bind to the promiscuous MARCO scavenger receptor on the monocyte surface. This binding interaction triggers the apoptosis of these inflammation causing monocytes and also promotes their sequestration back into the spleen and away from inflammation sites.
Tolerating immune modifying nanoparticles (TIMPs) for the treatment of autoimmune diseases-These particles work on a similar premise to the IMPs, inducing MARCO mediated macrophage apoptosis and sequestration to the spleen. However, rather than being empty, the TIMPs are loaded with self-reactive antigen. The antigen is conjugated to a polymer for controlled loading and release. Antigen presenting cells (APCs) can pick up TIMPs and apoptotic debris from macrophages. Once the APCs have processed and are presenting the appropriate antigen, they can selectively interact with auto-reactive T cells to initiate a cascade of events that will lead to the deletion or anergy of these T cell populations, ultimately inducing immune tolerance of the self-antigen. For example, in celiac disease, immune tolerance can be induced by loading TIMPs with glidans, which are a glucose fragment that initiate autoimmune responses. There are currently no clinical “tolerance inducing” therapies. Some of the diseases that TIMPs are being developed for have no FDA approved treatment.
Harnessing Nanoparticles for Immune Modulation
Getts, DR; Shea, LD; Miller, SD; King, NJ. Trends in Immunology. 2015 Jul; 36(P7): 419-27.
Overcoming Challenges in Treating Autoimmunity: Development of Tolerogenic Immune-Modifying Nanoparticles
Pearson, RM; Podojil, JR; Shea, LD; King, NJ; Miller, SD; Getts, DR. Nanomedicine. 2018 Oct 32; (18).
The role of Mass Spectrometry in the Characterization of Biologic Protein Products
Rathore, D; Faustino, A; Schiel, J; Pang, E; Boyne, M; Rogstad, S. Expert Review in Proteomics. 2018 May; 15(5): 431-449.
Enhanced Viral Clearance and Reduced Leukocyte Infiltration in Experimental Herpes Encephalitis After intranasal Infection of CXR3-Deficient Mice
Zimmerman, J; et al. Journal of Neurovirology. 2017 Jun; 23(3): 394-403.
Experimental Severe Malaria is Resolved by Targeting Newly-Identified Monocyte Subsets Using Immune-Modifying Particles Combined With Artesunate
Niewold, P; Cohen, A; Van Vreden, C; Getts, DR; Grau, GE; King, NJC. 2018 Dec 13; 1:227.
Clinical Trials: Celiac Disease (Phase I),
Pre-clinical: Allergy, Acute Myocardial Infarction Discovery: Rare diseases. Anti-drug antibodies, Severe malaria null
COUR has developed a network of global industry and academic partnerships. COUR’s platform is currently concentrated in the following disease areas:
- Infectious disease
- Celiac Disease
- Rare Diseases
Cour may be interested in further industry and academic collaborations to extend its platform into new disease indications.
- Rare/orphan diseases
- Drug resistance
- Immune Modulation