Chronic Inflammatory and Autoimmune Diseases
Our research project addresses the role of BAMBI (BMP and Activin Membrane-Bound Inhibitor), a plasma membrane-bound inhibitor of TGFβ signaling, in the control of Immune System activity. We have previously demonstrated that BAMBI forms part of a rheostat-like molecular device that through the direct regulation of TGFβ signalling strength and the indirect control of IL-2 signalling, influences the capacity of newly activated CD4+ T cells to functionally differentiate into anti-inflammatory regulatory T cells (Treg) and pro-inflammatory Th17 cells. In this regard, BAMBI deficiency protects mice against the development of autoimmune arthritis by Treg- and TGFβ-dependent mechanisms. Based in these findings, we have developed an inhibitory anti-mouse and anti-human BAMBI mAb, clone B101-37, that exhibits preventive and therapeutic activities in different experimental murine models of psoriasis and arthritis. This technology has been protected by a patent, owned by the CSIC and the Universidad de Cantabria that has been licensed to Inhibitec-Anticuerpos S.L., a recently created start-up company that plans to position B101.37 as a new gold standard in the management of psoriatic arthritis. Our present research activity is:
- To explore the role of BAMBI in mucosal immunity and microbiota composition and its possible involvement in in the development of inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer associated to chronic inflammation.
- The role of BAMBI in humoral immune responses.
- In the context of Inhibitec-Anticuerpos, we plan to humanize B101-37 as a first step to its introduction into clinical trials.
From a technological point of view, our research group has a large experience in the induction and clinical and immunological study of several murine models of autoimmune/inflammatory diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus, collagen type-II induced autoimmune arthritis, Imiquimod-induced psoriasis, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae mannan-induced psoriatic arthritis and dextran sodium sulphate-induced colitis.
1- Title: Anticuerpos monoclonales frente a BAMBI y uso para tratamiento de enfermedades inflamatorias. International Patent PCT/ES2016/070852. Extended to EC (16870040.9), USA (060418INTEFSW00000022090528).
Inventors: Jesús Merino Pérez; Ramón Merino Pérez.
Owners: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas/Universidad de Cantabria.
2- Title: Methods for treating and diagnosing disease. Patente Internacional WO 2012/113785.
Inventors: Juan Saus; Fernando Revert; Ramón Merino Pérez; Jesús Merino Pérez.
Name: Inhibitec-Anticuerpos S.L.
Date of Registration:05/03/2019