Chronically infecting pathogens have immune evasion mechanisms
Most pathogens infect us for a short time. Our immune system recognizes the invader, mounts an immune response and clears the infection. But some pathogens have developed ways to modulate the immune response: they developed so-called immune evasion mechanisms. Despite a functioning immune system, these pathogens possess factors that modulate the immune response. The pathogen is not cleared. Instead, a chronic infection develops.
A new way of vaccine design: immune evasion vaccines
What if we disabled these immune evasion mechanisms? ImevaX’ approach answers this question: our vaccines eliminate the bacterial factors that inhibit the immune response. The result: the immune system can recognize, combat and eliminate the pathogen.
IMX101: The first immune evasion vaccine against Helicobacter pylori
An infection with Helicobacter pylori lasts life-long, causing stomach cancer and stomach ulcers.
In 2005, ImevaX’ founder Prof. Markus Gerhard discovered Helicobacter pylori’s central molecule that inhibits the immune response. Based on this knowledge, we designed a vaccine that showed proof-of-concept in preclinical studies. Currently, the lead product IMX101 is being evaluated in a clinical phase I study.
Nevertheless, the concept of immune evasion vaccine design is not restricted to Helicobacter pylori. After proof-of-concept in Helicobacter pylori, we at ImevaX aim to develop vaccines against multiple chronic infections.