Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

A Novel Strategy for Mucosal Immune Enhancement by an IgA Antibody Drug and an IgA-inducing Chemical

Reiko Shinkura, PhD, MD | The University of Tokyo
Competition Sponsor: Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development
Awardee Year: 2020

In this project, we develop a novel strategy for enhancement of mucosal barrier function through high-affinity mucosal IgA, to solve the problems of non-curable infectious diseases and allergic diseases. Enhanced mucosal barrier function results in healthy longevity which does not rely on symptomatic treatments. Our findings demonstrated that monoclonal IgA can attack bacteria in a species-specific manner, which is totally different from antibiotic treatment. We would like to develop IgA antibody drugs as oral medicine against pathogenic infections as well as dysbiosis. Most of the current treatments for allergic diseases seek to inhibit IgE responses. However, these treatments are still not curative because they do not prevent the allergen invasion into our bodies. Our candidate chemical (Bryostatin1) induces selective IgA, but not IgE class-switching of B cells so that the enhanced production of mucosal IgA can prevent allergen from invading mucosal surfaces. Our innovation will provide a means to not only treat but also prevent, various diseases.

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View this project poster, first displayed at the 2021 Global Innovator Summit.

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