BioMmune Technologies Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the exciting new field of immunotherapy, the discovery and development of new therapeutics that enable the body’s own immune system to recognize and attack infections, cancers and autoimmune diseases.
Immune system recognition of abnormal and infected cells depends on the presentation of abnormal or foreign protein particles, called antigens, on the surfaces of these cells. The antigens are transported from the interior of the diseased cells to the cells’ surfaces. Once on the cell’s surface, antigens can be recognized by the vast array of antibodies (over 100 million types) that inhabit our bodies. The presentation of the antigens on the cell surfaces is a signal for the immune system (T-Cells, etc.) to destroy the infected cells and their invaders.
The antigen transport mechanisms and biochemistry are very complex and there are several ways in which they can be impaired or neutralized, allowing the cells to remain undetected by the immune system. For example, certain viruses have evolved to suppress the ability of their infected cells to transport the viral antigens to the cell’s surface, thus avoiding immune system detection. Many types of tumour cells also have the ability to suppress the antigen transport systems, preventing the presentation of antigens on the cell surfaces. In still other cases, the basic chemical and signalling mechanisms of our cells can become impaired by genetic or other causes.
BioMmune Technologies, Inc. has acquired three unique technologies that are all designed to enhance or enable the immune system to recognize abnormal and infected cells. The three technologies relate to the following:
- Major Histocompatibility Complex I (MHC I) – a molecule that transports normal, abnormal and foreign protein fragments (peptides) to the surface of the cells where the fragments are then exposed to the immune system’s T Cells.
- CD74 – a chaperone protein that is involved in the presentation of MHC I and MHC II molecules on cell surfaces.
- Calcium Channel Blockers – methods and (agents) that modulate voltage-gated calcium channels, important in the signalling of immune system response.
BioMmune is currently advancing all three programs. On March 5, 2015, BioMmune announced that it has demonstrated, in vivo, effective anti-cancer activity induced by new small-molecule drugs that make cancer cells more visible to the immune system. BioMmune has identified several molecules for their ability to increase expression of proteins involved in the antigen processing pathway and in particular MHC I molecules that display the tumour antigens on the surface of cancer cells.