B Cell Design develops innovative therapeutic solutions for vaccination and immunotherapy as an alternative to current approaches to address the mucosal areas (lung, gut, genital tract) and the associated glands (breast, prostate) in particular, which are the site of cancerous tumors and the point of entry for pathogens.
B Cell Design uses its knowledge of mucosal immunity, the expertise of its team and its technological platform (HAMIGA™, GAMMAprim™, INEps™) which has been in existence since 2006.
Mucosal immunity is our vision…Infectious diseases, oncology and chronic inflammations our fields of investigation, innovation our focus!
B Cell Design is mainly focused on two groundbreaking projects: A vaccine candidate for infectious diseases and a therapeutic IgA antibody candidate to treat colorectal cancer.
B Cell Design's pipeline
A mucosal vaccine against HIV
Despite more than 40 years of research, hundreds of clinical trials and more than 40 billion dollars spent, no vaccine against HIV is available.
B Cell Design proposes a new approach based on the mucosal immune response primed by natural microbial flora. We demonstrate that an immune response elicited by a non-HIV antigen cross-reacts against the HIV virus and neutralizes in vitro HIV-infection in humans.
A new non HIV vaccine antigen from the vaginal microbiota capable of inducing a mucosal neutralizing protective antibody response against HIV infection – European Patent 14305174
B Cell Design’s approach is based on three critical criteria:
- A natural resistance to HIV infection has been identified within an at-risk population naturally resistant to HIV.
- A vaccine is elicited by an antigen of the natural microbial flora and not an HIV antigen.
- The vaccine triggers an in vivo mucosal response which neutralizes HIV infection of human cells.
IgA against colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer is the second most frequent cancer in women and the third one in men. Still, no therapeutic drugs target specifically cancer cells markers.
B Cell Design molecules (IgA antibodies) has shown the fundamental requirements for a brand new drug candidate against cancer.
In vivo preclinical studies validate the potency of monoclonal IgA for a new approach to the treatment of colorectal cancer:
- PD/PK: IgA shows a strong, rapid mucosal tropism. IgA is naturally involved in the immunity of mucosal areas (lung, gut, genital tract) and associated glands (breast, prostate). Even when exogenous, IgA naturally reaches the mucosal area intrinsically.
- Numerous effector cells recruited: Through polynuclear cell recruitment, Antigen-dependent cellular cytotoxicity is induced leading to the death of the cancer cells.
- Efficacy: In vivo inhibition of tumor growth in a xenografted mouse model
- Medical imaging of early-stage metastasis: in vivo detection of early-stage pulmonary metastasis by radio-immuno-labelling.
Therapeutic R&D - New project
B Cell Design focuses on mucosal immunity to develop drug candidates for the treatment of mucosal cancers and mucosal infectious diseases.
From the first trimester of 2016, B Cell Design increased its R&D by collaborating with a team from McGill University (directed by Dr. Momar N'DAO( on a therapeutic development program in parasitology, to bring the concept of IgA efficacy to the C-parvum parasite. Precliniclal studies may be supported by CDC and NIH centers.
Benefits of mucosal immunity
The mucosal immune system presents proliferation mechanisms independently of the signals from other secondary lymphoid organs (B Cell differentiation in the gut lamina propria, Cerutti and al, Mucosal Immunology, 2008). The autonomy of the mucosal compartment is partly demonstrated in the case of persistence and rapid reconstitution after treatment, when the immune system is weakened. (Steady-state generation of mucosal IgA+ plasmablasts is not abrogated by B cell depletion therapy with rituximab Henrik and al. Blood 2010)
IgA as a different isotype instead of the one commonly used in therapies opens the way to new treatment strategies, as an alternative or a synergy with an IgG immunotherapy.
IgA are directly in contact with potential pathogens that enter via the mucosal barrier. IgA play an active role in eliminating infections through immune exclusion mechanisms in the lumen (capture) or active mechanisms (vaccinal effect), thus providing long-lasting protection. Expressed in the lamina propria, IgA is secreted into the lumen in a third form, secretory IgA, which is even more resistant in an enzyme-rich environment such as the gut lumen.
From HAMIGA technology to therapeutic approaches
The development of therapeutic antibody molecules is the sector that has seen the most remarkable growth for the treatment of cancers and inflammatory and infectious diseases. Due to the difficulty in isolating IgA B cells and easily producing large quantities of IgA, little therapeutic research has been conducted on IgA, even though basic research has established for decades that IgA is the mucosal antibody designed to protect against pathologies whose point of entry is the mucosal barrier.
The HAMIGA platform has solved the technical barrier to developing and producing IgA in order to provide evidence to support the concept of mucosal-targeted therapies