Prof. Kaempfer and Dr. Arad, Atox Bio’s co-founders, elucidated the role of the CD28 dimer interface as a novel therapeutic target in the co-stimulatory process.
Defining this functional domain allowed the company to target the critical co-stimulatory pathway in a completely new way and modulate multiple components of the inflammatory response using rationally designed short peptides, 8 to 12 amino acids in length.
Modulating, but not inhibiting, the co-stimulatory response significantly improves the host’s ability to effectively fight the infection. It also reduces the tissue damage caused to key organs during acute inflammatory situation such as severe infections or ischemia/reperfusion injuries as well as in chronic inflammatory diseases.
Atox Bio is implementing this novel mode of action into a unique approach to treating severe infections by targeting the host immune system, rather than the pathogen, thereby providing solution for bacterial infections with broad-spectrum coverage, independent of pathogen type and eliminating the risk of drug resistance.
The peptides provide protection from superantigen toxins and lethal bacterial infections in experimental models of a wide range of bacterial pathogens (gram positive, gram negative and polymicrobial infections). Peptides also block symptoms of disease in models of inflammatory/autoimmune diseases and reduces radiation-induced organ damage.