Immune System

Technology :: IRS

Immunoregulatory sequences (IRS)

Our proprietary technology platform includes immunoregulatory sequences (IRS), which are short DNA sequences that specifically inhibit the Toll-like Receptors (TLRs) associated with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. TLRs are key receptors of the innate immune system that can induce strong inflammatory responses. Our TLR inhibitors have demonstrated broad potential in multiple autoimmune disease models, such as lupus, inflammatory skin disorders, and rheumatoid arthritis.

These first-in-class endosomal TLR inhibitors specifically target two types of immune cells, B cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDCs) that selectively express TLR7 and TLR9. These receptors play a key role in the overproduction of interferon alpha by PDCs and in the generation of anti-nuclear autoantibodies by B cells, which are hallmarks of some autoimmune diseases such as lupus. Our TLR inhibitors specifically target pathogenic interferon and autoantibodies and do not inhibit all sources of interferon nor affect all antibody responses from B cells. This specificity suggests that IRS would not cause broad immunosuppression.