Qu Biologics and Karolinska Institute Initiate Important New Collaboration to Validate Molecular Mechanisms of Qu Biologics’ First-in-Class Immunotherapy Platform
BURNABY, British Columbia, Dec. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Qu Biologics Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing Site Specific Immunomodulators (SSIs), a novel platform of immunotherapies designed to restore innate immune function, is excited to announce a new collaboration with Associate Professor Jonas Fuxe and his research team at the Karolinska Institute (KI) in Stockholm, Sweden, to characterize the molecular targets of Qu's SSI therapy at the tissue level that lead to resolution of disease. This collaboration will include assessment of tissue biopsies from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of patients with moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease (CD) who experienced histological healing upon treatment with QBECO, Qu’s GI-targeting SSI.
Epithelial cells on mucosal surfaces are an important immune interface between microbial invaders and human tissue. Loss of epithelial barrier function is commonly seen in diseases associated with chronic inflammation and can be exceedingly challenging to resolve. Compromised intestinal epithelial barrier function is present in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, which are currently treated with lifelong aggressive immune suppressive medication to manage symptoms. Despite the arsenal of immune suppressive medication used to treat IBD, most patients experience disease progression. QBECO SSI treatment, which is designed to restore normal innate immune function, immune homeostasis, and barrier function in the GI tract, provides a novel potentially transformative alternative to immunosuppressive therapies for patients living with IBD.
Associate Professor Fuxe, acting Head of the Division of Pathology and from January 1, 2023, Head of the Department of Laboratory Medicine at KI, is a renowned scientist in epithelial cell biology. Qu’s collaboration with his team will initially focus on validating, at the tissue level, data demonstrating that the expression of genes associated with damaging, unproductive inflammation that disrupt epithelial barrier function can be normalized in the GI tract of patients with moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease upon treatment with QBECO SSI. This partnership is anticipated to further understanding of epithelial integrity and plasticity in the context of immune dysfunction and how SSI treatment helps restore barrier function through targeting innate immune modulation in the GI tract. In addition, this collaboration may help identify patients, based on the tissue profiling of their disease, who may benefit the most from SSI treatment for inflammatory conditions associated with a loss of barrier function, such as Crohn's disease. Such an advance would enable precision medicine for patients living with CD.
Both the Fuxe team at KI and Qu’s science team are excited about the scientific and medical potential of this collaboration. Dr. Jonas Fuxe states, “We have a long-standing interest in identifying mechanisms and targets that may prevent loss of epithelial integrity in chronic inflammatory and cancer diseases. We are excited by the collaboration with Qu Biologics, which timely opens new avenues to explore links between epithelial and immune dysfunction.” Immunologist Dr. Shirin Kalyan, VP Scientific Innovation of Qu Biologics, notes, “Molecular characterization of how QBECO SSI leads to disease resolution in the GI tract in patients with IBD has the potential to identify which patients are most likely to benefit from this innovative approach to restore gastrointestinal health, which could be life-changing for these patients. We are very excited to be working with Associate Professor Fuxe and his team at KI to address this critically important issue.” Dr. Hal Gunn, CEO of Qu Biologics, adds, “Given KI’s reputation and high regard in the field of immunology, we are very pleased to be collaborating with Dr. Fuxe and his team on this important project.”
For more information about Qu Biologics and the science behind SSIs, please visit www.qubiologics.com.
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About Qu Biologics
Qu Biologics is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing Site Specific Immunomodulators (SSI), a novel class of immunotherapies designed to restore innate immune function in targeted organs to reverse the immune dysregulation underlying many important diseases including cancer, chronic inflammatory diseases, and infection. Qu Biologics has completed four Phase 2 studies in lung cancer, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. Two additional Phase 2 randomized placebo-controlled studies, in late-stage colon cancer and immunosenescence, have received regulatory and ethics approval.
Backed by a prestigious group of scientific advisors and board members, Qu Biologics is led by a management team that includes co-founder and CEO Dr. Hal Gunn, a physician and expert on the body’s immune response to chronic disease; Chief Medical Officer - Oncology Dr. Simon Sutcliffe, former CEO of the BC Cancer Agency and a distinguished clinician, scientist and leader in cancer control in Canada and internationally; Chief Medical Officer – Infectious Disease Dr. Ted Steiner, a clinician-scientist specializing in immune responses to infections and Head of the UBC Division of Infectious Diseases; and Chief Operating Officer – Dr. Matt Cahill, an accomplished biotech executive with experience financing and scaling platform biotechnology companies. For more information, please visit www.qubiologics.com.
For more information regarding this press release, contact:
Hal Gunn, MD
Qu Biologics Inc.
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