MERIT (MERcia Immunotherapeutic Technology)
Autoimmune diseases arise when the body loses the ability to tolerate self-antigens and the immune system becomes inappropriately activated against self. Just the opposite situation can occur with infectious diseases, such as seasonal and pandemic influenza, where some individuals are unable to mount an adequate immune response to external antigens. The MERIT platform allows for the development of products with diverse characteristics. MERIT based products can be targeted to push the immune system to restore self tolerance to specific antigens (autoimmunity), to safely and specifically target disease-associated molecules (chronic disease), or to enhance targeting of infectious agents (influenza) in populations whose immune systems are compromised by age or disease.
A successful product to combat autoimmune and chronic diseases must (i) induce safe, robust but reversible protective immune responses, (ii) avoid inflammatory and tissue destructive side effects, (iii) maintain immune tolerance towards the patient’s own target antigens, thereby, avoiding the risk of autoimmunity, and (iv) should not compromise the patient’s overall immune system.
The Company’s MERIT based products have been demonstrated to meet these requirements.