Bertilimumab is a first-in-class human monoclonal antibody designed to block the protein eotaxin-1, which is responsible for causing inflammation in a significant number of diseases. Eotaxin-1 causes eosinophils to migrate toward sites of inflammation, where they release substances that damage tissue and enhance inflammation. By neutralizing eotaxin-1, bertilimumab may prevent the migration of eosinophils, thus helping to relieve inflammatory conditions associated with the protein. Bertilimumab is currently in phase 2 clinical trials for bullous pemphigoid, an orphan auto-immune skin blistering disease, and ulcerative colitis. Bertilimumab was initially developed by Cambridge Antibody Technology (now part of MedImmune, the biologics division of AstraZeneca), licensed by Immune in June 2011, while iCo Therapeutics retains the rights to develop any ophthalmic indications.
Our nanoformulation of cyclosporine enables the molecule to better penetrate into the skin layers and provide a local anti-inflammatory effect. Cyclosporin is widely used as a systemic agent to prevent organ transplant rejection and has also been approved to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, and for local use in the treatment for dry eye and some forms of keratitis. However, it does not penetrate the skin so is not used for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases like atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, a clinical need Immune hopes to address with Nanocyclo, which is in late stage preclinical development. Immune is partnered with Yissum, Hebrew University of Jerusalem on this program.