Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which one’s immune system mistakenly turns against parts of the body as if they were harmful foreign cells. In response to an unknown trigger that may be environmental or genetic in nature, the immune system begins producing antibodies that, instead of fighting infections, attack the body’s own tissues.
There are many autoimmune diseases, around 80, with symptoms ranging from mild to disabling depending on which part of the body is afflicted and to what degree. It is estimated that between 5% and 8% of the world’s population is currently suffering from an autoimmune disease. Among the most prevalent we find Graves’ Disease, Hashimoto’s Disease, type 1 Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Systemic Lupus, and Myasthenia Gravis (MG).
Autoimmune diseases — Number of cases in the U.S.A
CuraVac is initially focusing its research on a Therapeutic Vaccine for Myasthenia Gravis, a rare but not exceptional autoimmune disease that affects roughly one in five to seven thousand around the world. Although not the most prevalent, the MG pathology is very well understood and is an excellent development model for other Therapeutic Vaccines for autoimmune diseases.
Currently, treatments for autoimmune diseases usually require heavy medication or invasive chirurgical procedures, often accompanied by numerous side effects. Most of the time, these treatments can only reduce some of the symptoms or slow down the progression of the disease.
The success of CuraVac’s first Therapeutic Vaccine is a potential breakthrough in the autoimmune field and could open the door to a new kind of treatment, one that can possibly offer a long-lasting improvement and bring a potential cure to patients.
The final results of our phase 1B clinical trial demonstrated an excellent safety profile and called for a phase 2 efficacy clinical trial that we are presently preparing with a more potent formulation of the MG Therapeutic Vaccine: CV-MG02.