Inverse vaccines ease MS in mouse study

Researchers from Nykode Therapeutics have made a promising discovery with two inverse vaccines designed to train the immune system to avoid attacking the body. These vaccines have successfully reduced disease severity in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Building on previous research, it was found that the experimental TV004 inverse vaccine could prevent MS from developing in mice by making the immune system unresponsive to a specific protein involved in MS, without shutting down the immune response.

MS occurs when the immune system targets the myelin sheath, the protective layer around nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord. This leads to inflammation, damage, and worsening symptoms.

Nykode’s inverse vaccine technology induces immune tolerance by teaching the immune system to ignore certain targets. This involves delivering lab-made DNA molecules to muscle cells, which produce Vaccibody proteins. These proteins engage with antigen-presenting cells (APCs).

Normally, APCs present antigens to immune T-cells, triggering a response. Vaccibody vaccines, however, attract APCs that present antigens to regulatory T-cells, limiting other immune cells’ activity.

Alongside TV004, Nykode developed TV036. Both induce tolerance to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) but bind to different APC targets.

In an MS model called experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), mice typically show symptoms within a week. In tests, mice received TV004 or TV036 injections, reducing disease severity and preventing paralysis for up to 28 days. Similar positive outcomes were observed when injections were given after EAE induction, even with some symptoms present.

These findings suggest Nykode’s inverse vaccines could offer a new approach to managing MS by reducing severity and preventing symptom progression.