Power of Treg-based Drugs
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are a small subpopulation of T cells with potent activities in controlling immune responses. Tregs maintain tolerance to self-antigens thereby preventing autoimmune diseases. Tregs also suppress immune responses to non-self antigens, such as pathogens and allergens, thereby preventing excessive immune responses.
We develop drugs that either enhance or suppress Treg activities to treat various disease conditions.
Treg enhancing drugs can maintain tolerance to antigens and suppress immune responses, therefore they are useful in treating transplantation rejection, autoimmune diseases, and allergy.
Treg suppressing drugs can enhance immune responses, therefore they are useful in fighting against cancers by enhancing anti-tumor immune responses.
As the nature of T cells, the immunological effects of Tregs are antigen-specific, which gives a unique feature to our Treg-mediated drugs. For example, our Treg enhancing drug to prevent transplantation rejection will not suppress immune responses to pathogens, and our Treg suppressing drug to fight against cancers will not induce autoimmune diseases.
Our approach for enhancing Treg activity takes advantage of a natural immune pathway using a synthetic small molecule that induces expansion of Tregs. Our lead molecule, RGI-2001, has demonstrated the pharmacological activity in vivo to expand Tregs both in humans and mice.
We are developing antibody therapeutics that specifically targets Tregs to reduce their immune suppressive effects. As immune suppressive Tregs play roles in helping tumors to become resistant to immune therapies, Treg suppression is anticipated to enhance efficacy of immune therapies.