EVOQ Therapeutics is pioneering the development of a proprietary technology that represents a genuine breakthrough in immunotherapy. It works by unleashing the full potential of the immune system - primarily through the activation of dendritic cells.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs) that specialize in priming different types of effector T cells – thereby orchestrating an immune response either towards immune tolerance or towards immune activation.
When stimulated in one direction – dendritic cells polarize responding T cells towards the anti-inflammatory, regulatory T cells and promote the upregulation of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Ultimately establishing and maintaining a state of immune tolerance and the protection of self-tissue and organ systems. In short, Immune Tolerance can be described as the state of indifference or non-reactivity towards a substance that would normally be expected to excite an immunological response (e.g. tolerance to gluten).
When stimulated in the opposite direction – dendritic cells orchestrate cell-mediated Immune Activation. This results in the recognition of an antigen as a “foreign” or “non-self” macromolecule, the activation of antigen specific CD4+ and CD8+ cytotoxic T cells, and upregulation of inflammatory cytokines. Ultimately the antigen specific T cells seek out and destroy entities that display the offending antigen (e.g. cancer cells).
In autoimmune disease, a therapy's ability to evoke a potent, targeted, and sustained immune response, depends on its ability to deliver appropriate autoantigens to the body’s population of dendritic cells.
Similarly, for cancer the therapy must effectively deliver the appropriate tumor antigens (either tumor associated or neoantigens) to the dendritic cells in conjunction with co-stimulatory factors (e.g. adjuvants such as CpG).
Since the body’s lymph system contains large depots of dendritic cells that are primed to jump into action when called upon, lymph node directed therapy is an attractive target.
EVOQ’s technology has been shown to be 30 times more effective at delivering antigens (with or without adjuvants) to the lymph nodes compared to antigens alone, resulting in a superior immune system response.