Our Technology Platform
Immuron’s proprietary polyclonal antibody platform produces antibodies potentially suited to treat a wide range of diseases including infectious diseases and chronic inflammatory diseases. These antibodies are designed for delivery to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the upper respiratory tract and/or topically, as required.
How the platform works:
A close interplay exists between the gut and liver. This is based on the evidence that more than 70% of the blood liver supply derives from the portal vein, the direct venous outflow of the intestine [Compare et al., 2012].
Disturbances in the homeostasis between bacteria- and host-derived signals at the epithelial level lead to a break in intestinal barrier function and may foster “bacterial translocation”, defined as the migration of bacteria or bacterial products from the intestinal lumen to mesenteric lymph nodes or other extraintestinal organs and sites. While the full repertoire of gut-derived microbial products that reach the liver in health and disease is yet to be explored, the levels of bacterial LPS are increased in the portal and/or systemic circulation in several types of chronic liver diseases, including NASH [Manco et al., 2010]. Derangement of the gut flora, particularly small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, occurs in a large percentage (20-75%) of patients with chronic liver disease. It has been suggested that fatty diets promote gut microbiota changes and endotoxins produced by gram negative bacteria promote the development of NASH [Compare et al., 2012].
Hepatic steatosis is commonly associated with factors such as obesity and sub-clinical insulin resistance. Vulnerability to subsequent insults such as endogenous or exogenous toxins increases the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This further exacerbates insulin resistance, oxidative stress and organelle dysfunction within liver cells. In addition, circulating LPS has been found to trigger a molecular cascade which results in the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The latter eventually leads to hepatocyte death and the accumulation of inflammatory cells seen in NASH. In mice, Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) has also been associated in studies with increase in body weight and accumulated intrahepatic triglyceride [Manco et al., 2010].
Bovine colostrum contains increased concentrations of immunoglobulins (mainly IgG) compared with normal cow’s milk, presented with other physically protective milk proteins. IgGs are not absorbed into the blood and act in the lumen against bacterial antigens or interact at the mucosal surface with dendritic cells that sample antigens from gut contents, influencing populations of T regulatory lymphocytes.
IMM-124E has strong binding and neutralising activity against a wide range of LPS antigens. It is hypothesised that IMM-124E anti-LPS activity decreases the challenge of LPS to the liver and down-regulates the key T regulatory cell population associated with chronic inflammation and other metabolic defects associated with NASH.
In addition to its potential effect on bacterial translocation, IMM-124E contains adjuvants which promote regulatory T cells that suppress inflammation in target organs. The dual function of this product may be synergistic in alleviating NASH (Adar et al., 2012).
Immuron’s polyclonal antibody platform includes IMM-529 for treatment and prevention of C. Difficile Infections and other compounds in development which have considerable advantages including:
- Products have an established safety profile which allows for the prospect of fast track preclinical development and the prospect of a fast track clinical program towards marketing approval. This is a function of the products being dairy derived and not being absorbed into the blood stream.
- The products are suitable for oral administration and do not need to be injected due to not being destroyed in the stomach. Monoclonal antibodies and other proteins are usually administered only by injection.
- A versatility allowing use in numerous therapeutic applications as demonstrated by the Immuron’s product pipeline and early stage research.The antibodies can be used to directly block viruses or bacteria at mucosal surfaces such as that of the GI tract or can be used to influence the cell-mediated immune system by shifting T regulatory cell populations.
- Polyclonal antibodies have the ability to target multiple sites on target antigens in a less specific which improves their efficacy in the case of mutating bacteria and viruses. This is extremely important in terms of infectious diseases.
- High volume production at low cost. Cost efficiency is achieved due to our access to a large number of dairy herds and large scale processing facilities. Production of monoclonal antibodies costs in the region of $50,000 per gram whereas Immuron’s polyclonal antibodies cost less than $1 per gram.