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Late-breaking: Myelin-peptide coupled red blood cells

Prof. Andreas Lutterotti, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Phase 1, ETIMSred

Induction of antigen-specific immune tolerance is a promising therapeutic approach in autoimmune diseases. Peptide-coupled cell tolerance is effective in several animal models of autoimmune disease, allergies and transplantation. Prof. Andreas Lutterotti (University of Zurich, Switzerland) and colleagues developed a therapeutic regimen employing autologous blood cells, chemically coupled with 7 myelin peptides, to induce antigen-specific tolerance in MS patients [1].

After a successful trial with myelin peptide-coupled peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in MS patients, the researchers optimised the approach using red blood cells (RBCs) as tolerogenic carriers (see Figure) [2]. ETIMSred is the first-in-human phase 1b trial, to test the safety and tolerability of increasing doses of autologous peptide-coupled RBCs. Ten relapsing-remitting MS patients (mean age 38.5; 70% female) were treated with increasing doses of peptide-coupled RBCs.

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