The number of people around the world who are suffering from autoimmune diseases is increasing. These diseases involve an adverse reaction of the immune system attacking the body’s own healthy cells by mistake.
There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune diseases, some of them have similar symptoms, and sometimes it is difficult an early diagnosis. The most classic symptom is inflammation. Treatment depends on the disease but therapy with corticosteroids and drugs that reduce the immune response is the most common.
Regarding organ transplantation, it is also necessary to prescribe drugs that reduce the response of the immune system to avoid rejection of the transplanted organ. Undoubtedly, transplantation prolongs the life of people who had an organ failure, but it is necessary to guarantee both the success of the graft and its survival and to reduce toxicity, by using the adequate immunosuppressants at the right quantity
Immunosuppressive drugs have been used since the 1980s by medical professionals in autoimmune processes and in transplant patients. Throughout these years, numerous new drugs have appeared on the market. Although they have opened up many possibilities in the clinical management of diseases and pathologies, they are not free of risks given the toxicities associated with their use and the interactions they can have with other drugs, which makes their management difficult and can compromise the prognosis of patients.
There is a wide variety of immunosuppressant medication available today. Knowledge of the biological processes involved in immunity has allowed the development of selective drugs with much greater specificity. However, adverse effects continue to play a very important role in the whole process. That is the reason why it is very important to monitor each patient in a personalized way.
Nowadays the tools available to medical professionals are periodic analysis and pharmacokinetic tests to monitor the blood concentrations of the drugs to adjust the dosages. However, finding the right drug and the right dose for each patient is still complex, and is achieved by trial-and-error approximation, often resulting in problems of over- or under-medication.
Based on a pharmacodynamic approach model, Biohope has developed a technological platform (bioassay, software and database), called Immunobiogram®, that determines the response of each person’s immune cells when exposed to pharmacological agents in vitro. Immunobiogram®, a precision medicine innovation, is an IVD immunoassay which provides evaluation of the patients’ sensitivity profile to a panel of the most commonly prescribed immunosuppressants (IMS) allowing the physicians to predict and monitor the patients’ response to a specific IMS.
The first practical application of the Immunobiogram® will be commercialized to support physicians in tailoring the immunosuppressive treatment in Kidney Transplantation. The number of organ donations and the need for them is increasing. The goal is to improve the patient’s quality of life and the good acceptance of the transplanted organ to avoid rejection. Personalized medicine tools for the treatment of transplant patients after kidney transplant will help to reduce costs in terms of graft losses, medications, associated side effects and potential deaths after a few years.
With the Immunobiogram®, each physician will be able to prescribe the best drugs, at the right dosage. Therefore, each patient can receive a personalized immunosuppressant regimen.
* Immunobiogram® is a Biohope trademark