Project Designation: Tailoring EXosomes for Autoimmune Diseases
Type of Action: CSA
Duration: 12 months
Start Date: 30 Dec 2019
Estimated Project Cost: €115,000.00
Requested EU Contribution: €54,195.58 €
Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project
Autoimmune diseases (AD) are among the most prevalent group of diseases, with 23 million patients only in US. These diseases are chronic and often life–threatening, and according to AARDA (American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association), they are one of the top 10 leading causes of death in female children and women in all age groups up to 64 years of age. Current available treatments comprise chemical–based drugs such as immunosuppressant, corticosteroids and NSAIDs. Although these products are effective in controlling AD symptoms, they significantly increase the risk of getting severe infections, or developing cancer, due to the constant artificial shut down of the immune system. The long–term consequences of their use are yet to be fully understood. Exogenus is a spin–out company dedicated to the development of new therapeutic tools based in exosomes for diseases of high unmet needs. Our proprietary therapeutic tool are exosomes secreted by Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB) cells, secreted and purified in optimized conditions. Our vesicles have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties and can act as natural modulators of the immune system towards an immunotolerant state. While there are more than 80 different ADs, and limited solutions in the market with acceptable secondary effects, Exogenus’ vesicles can be a game–changer, because they naturally rebalance theimmune system and increase its tolerability in the context of an AD crisis and can be tailored for specific ADs. It is urgent for Exogenus to identify the right target diseases and define the development path, and TEXAD project was designed to address these specific aims: a) decide which ADs to pursue as potential new markets and therapeutic areas; b) implementing meaningful Proof–of–Concept (POC) studies to demonstrate the products’ therapeutic potential for the target ADs; c) develop strong Target Product Profiles (TPP), meeting the needs of the new markets; d) define the roadmap for future development of up to three products for ADs; and e) design a new Innovation Project to achieve the POC in humans for one selected AD.