Opportunity in Autoimmune Disease
Despite the development of innovative therapies for some severe autoimmune diseases, the majority of patients – including those with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) – have inadequate or no therapeutic options.
People living with these debilitating diseases need groundbreaking new therapies that are tissue-specific and long-lasting and promote repair.
Abata’s TCR-engineered Tregs interact with antigen presenting cells that display tissue-specific antigens in tissues affected by autoimmune disease. As a result, the Tregs potently suppress the ongoing aberrant immune response and restore homeostasis in the diseased tissue.
Use of the native TCR pathway uniquely maximizes the full effect of Tregs, helps to maintain a stable Treg phenotype for optimal safety and stimulates tissue residency for durability. TCRs are also exquisitely sensitive to antigens for robust activation.
Our Tregs are terminally differentiated, stable and – unlike induced Tregs originating in the periphery – resistant to pro-inflammatory triggers.
Tregs used in our cell therapies are autologous, meaning they are derived directly from a patient’s own cells, minimizing risk of rejection once engineered cells are delivered back to the patient.
Abata’s first program in progressive MS builds on well-understood technology in autologous cells to create a rapid path to the clinic.
We have partnered with ElevateBio, leveraging ElevateBio BaseCamp, to accelerate development of our Treg therapies. Together we deploy a proprietary process to isolate, engineer and expand mature, thymically derived Tregs.
HEALTHY BRAIN TISSUE
T cells transiently scan the surfaces of APCs but don’t recognize their specific antigen and move on. As a result, no immune response is initiated.
PROGRESSIVE MS: CHRONIC LESION
Inflammatory T cells in a stable, long-lasting aggregate relsease inflammatory mediators (dotted arrows) that activate macrophages. Macrophages at the lesion edge continuously degrade myelin. Existing MS therapies do not directly address this pathology.
TREG CELL THERAPY FOR PROGRESSIVE MS
A TCR enables Treg activation through antigen-dependent APC interaction. Activated Tregs release factors (green arrows) that suppress lymphoid aggregates, block new lymphocytes and inhibit macrophages. Tregs also produce factors that may promote myelin repair.
Type 1 Diabetes
Modulating T cells has been clinically demonstrated to affect disease progression in patients with Type 1 diabetes (T1D). Our T1D program will treat patients with the genetic HLA haplotype DR3-DQ2 (over half of patients) who are early in autoimmune pathogenesis, ultimately aiming to prevent the onset of symptomatic disease and insulin dependence.
Inclusion Body Myositis
Inclusion body myositis (IBM) is a debilitating disease characterized by inflammation that leads to muscle damage and weakness. Today, there are no therapies. Because Tregs play a role in muscle regeneration, we believe Treg cell therapies have the potential to address the unique pathogenic process in IBM. Our Treg cell therapy will treat patients with the genetic HLA haplotype DR3, an estimated 75% of patients.