Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the pharma sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we decided to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising startups working on immune system disorders.
Heat Map: 5 Top Startups Tackling Immune System Disorders
Using our StartUs Insights Platform, covering 1.116.000+ startups & emerging companies, we looked at innovation in the field of pharma. For this research, we identified 978 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies are chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and relevance of technology, among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & emerging companies developing solutions for immune system disorders. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 978 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
Viela Bio – Neuroinflammatory Disorders
In diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and vasculitis, the patients’ bodies are under attack from their own immune systems. A compromised immune system makes the recovery of the patient tedious, and sometimes, impossible. It often turns life-threatening, for example, in neuroinflammatory diseases. Advancements in drug development enable pharma companies to find, and medical professionals to provide, novel therapeutic drugs for various diseases, including neuroinflammatory disorders.
The US-based startup Viela Bio creates a novel therapeutic to treat neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, a neuroinflammatory disorder that causes irreversible blindness and paralysis. UPLIZNA targets the aquaporin-4 antibody in adult patients. A combination of immunosuppressive therapies with UPLIZNA helps patients overcome this rare disease with minimal side effects, including urinary tract infection and influenza.
Immundnz – Immune Response Platform
Patients are either born with immune disorders or acquire it over a period of time. These disorders often result from allergic reactions as well, with diseases such as type-1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis attacking specific functionalities in human bodies. Pharma startups are working to understand immune responses in patients to develop novel drugs that focus on effectively managing the symptoms.
British startup Immundnz develops COMPIT, an in vitro immune response platform to understand responses in autoimmune disorders. The platform is versatile and helps analyze various parameters including cell viability and cytotoxicity. COMPIT consists of a variety of immune and protein assays that are customizable according to any experimental model to study drug immunology or immune safety.
Landos Biopharma – Oral Therapeutics
Millions of people suffer from ulcerative colitis and at the same time lack effective treatment options. Symptoms for this autoimmune disorder range from rectal bleeding to abdominal cramps and pain. This condition, which has no known cure, presents a challenge for startups to innovate effective treatments. One of the methods currently under development involves activating or modifying key metabolic functions.
Swedish startup Landos Biopharma is working on novel therapeutic drugs to treat gastrointestinal immune disorders. The startup’s lead candidate BT-11, an oral therapeutic drug for treating ulcerative colitis, is currently undergoing Phase II clinical trials. BT-11 activates the lanthionine synthetase C-like protein 2 (LANCL2) pathway, which plays a pivotal role in metabolism and immune response. The LANCL2 activation results in active differentiation of T cells and also suppresses glycolytic pathways associated with systemic inflammation.
Palleon Pharmaceuticals – Glyco-Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
CD4, a glycoprotein found on the surface of T helper cells, also plays an essential role in activating the immune system for both innate and adaptive anti-tumor immune responses in certain patients. The sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-type lectins (Siglec)-sialoglycan axis is a mechanism of immunosuppression that is a major tumor immune escape pathway. Startups develop solutions that inhibit the Siglec-Sialoglycan axis to treat cancer tumors.
The US-based startup Palleon Pharmaceuticals develops immunosuppressive sialoglycan-sensing receptors in cells to treat cancer tumors. The startup’s technology platform, EAGLE (Enzyme-Antibody Glyco-Ligand Editing), enzymatically removes the critical common immunosuppressive terminal sialic acids from glycans, regardless of their individual structures or siglec receptor preferences. The startup’s Convergence platform identifies the right siglec receptors with antibody therapeutics. The startup offers multiple programs for siglec targeting for cancer, and also for inflammatory and fibrotic diseases, neurodegenerative disease, and chronic viral infections.
Orchard Therapeutics – Rare Inherited Immune Deficiencies
Rare genetic mutations also present problems related to immune deficiency, blood, and neurometabolic disorders, especially in children. Identification of these mutations enables pharma companies to develop corrective measures by utilizing cell and gene therapy. Ex-vivo cell therapy provides patient-specific solutions to contain such inherited disorders that do not lead to adverse complications.
British startup Orchard Therapeutics offers therapeutic solutions to tackle rare inherited immune deficiencies such as the Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS). The startup extracts bone marrow samples from the patient and processes it for blood stem cells. It then introduces a lentivirus, that has been disabled from multiplying into the patient’s cells, ex-vivo to correct the stem cells. This sample is later introduced into the patient’s bone marrow where the cells multiply and replace the aberrant stem cells.
What About The Other 973 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence and enable you to achieve your goals faster. The 5 startups tackling immune system disorders showcased above are promising examples out of 978 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.