Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Immunotherapies for Humans, Manufactured in Plants


Linda Avesani, Ph.D.  | University of Verona, Department of Biotechnology ; Valentina Garonzi, MBA, Master in Social Foresight; Roberta Zampieri, Ph.D in Biotechnology; Linda, Ph.D. in Biotechnology | DIAMANTE SRL
Competition Sponsor: EIT Health of the European Union
Awardee Year: 2022

Diamante is a biotechnology company that is developing Plant-based peptides drugs for autoimmune diseases. Educating the human immune system not to attack itself.
We exploit this approach for a specific drug for Rheumatoid Arthritis, already tested on animal models. Rheumatoid Arthritis affects almost 1% of the worldwide population, causing €80 Billion costs every year.
For Rheumatoid Arthritis there is no cure, only general treatments based on the immunosuppression of the general functionality of the immune system and this causes severe side effects. Moreover, 20% of the patients do not respond to any drug in use. To solve these unmet needs, we are developing a specific drug that is based on the restoration of self-tolerance: we re-educate the immune system to specifically tolerate the body’s own cell that is mistakenly attached, maintaining the immune system’s ability to protect itself. No more severe side effects. Moreover, to produce our therapeutic particles, we use plants as a natural bio-facility. This production system is safer, cost-effective, and easy to scale.We have already done a successful proof of concept on animal models with the complete remission of the disease, raised seed investment and grants of more than 1 million euros, and filled 3 patents. We will do another pre-clinical trial by 2022, then the toxicology studies by 2023, and the phase 1 clinical trials in humans by 2024. We believe the re-education of the human immune system is becoming the main industry pillar and we want to pioneer it.


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