COUR Pharmaceuticals is developing ﬁrst-in-class therapies designed to reprogram the immune system to achieve antigen-speciﬁc tolerance for immune-mediated disease. COUR’s platform of immune-modifying nanoparticles aims to treat the root cause of immune disease, unlike traditional approaches, which only minimize symptoms using toxic immune suppression. COUR’s lead product for celiac disease, partnered with Takeda, is the ﬁrst demonstration of induction of antigen-speciﬁc immune tolerance in any autoimmune disease.
Data from clinical and preclinical settings demonstrate the opportunity for the COUR nanoparticle platform to address a wide range of immune and inﬂammatory conditions. Immune-related diseases are more prevalent than ever in populations around the globe, yet they remain the hardest diseases to treat. These life-threatening illnesses, including autoimmune diseases such as myasthenia gravis and celiac disease, along with allergic diseases like peanut allergy, comprise a market larger than the entirety of cancer. Immune therapies in use today are primitive. They rely on highly toxic immune suppression, shutting down the basic immune apparatus, which may lead to signiﬁcant untoward collateral immune disease.
This approach does not address the underlying cause of immune-related disease. Scientists in immunology have posited that the gold standard for treating immune-related disease is tolerance – getting the body to recognize and tolerate the speciﬁc antigens or allergens that trigger destructive and often life-threatening immune activation. Based upon decades of research at Northwestern University, in combination with our techniques in nanoparticle science, COUR is aiming to develop a platform designed to address antigen/allergen speciﬁc immune mediated diseases. We believe that there is an alternative to suppressing the immune system that creates the opportunity to reprogram it and reverse the course of immune mediated disease.