UTS has identified a family of peptides secreted by parasitic worms which have potent anti-inflammatory benefits.
Parasite worms have evolved in their human hosts for millions of years and during this time have developed exquisite mechanisms to modulate the human immune response to ensure their own long-term survival.
This immune modulation is primarily mediated by the molecules that are secreted by the parasites as they migrate through their host’s tissue. The efficacy of parasite-derived molecules has been fine-tuned over millennia of co-evolution with humans, suggesting that the pharmacological activity of these peptides has already been optimised over time by nature.
- Data from animal models of disease show that only a short course of peptide treatment is required to produce a protective effect (better than most current strategies which require long term treatments).
- The parasite peptides are not cytotoxic; most current treatment regimes are associated with severe side effects.
- In vitro screening has suggested that the peptides are unlikely to induce any adverse events.
- Treatment of relapsing remitting MS, with the possibility of treatment for progressive secondary MS.
- Treatment of steroid resistant asthma.
- Possibly applicable for other disease conditions that are mediated by chronic inflammation.
Status and IP Position
A patent application for this technology has been filed and UTS is seeking a partner to license this technology or to work with the researchers to develop it further.