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Immunology
(Cezmi Akdis)

Dermatology
(Mübeccel Akdis)

Molecular Allergology
(Katja Bärenfaller)

Molecular Allergology
(Reto Crameri)

Molecular Immunology
(Liam O‘Mahony)

Vaccine Development
(Claudio Rhyner)

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WIRM

Head: Claudio Rhyner
Degree: Ph.D.


Phone: +41 (0) 81 410 08 51
E-mail: crhyner(a)siaf.uzh.ch

Group members:
  1. Moira Prati
  2. Patrick Westermann

Vaccine Development

Vaccine Development

Allergic diseases have reached a pandemic dimension where up to 25-30% of the population is suffering from allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, allergic asthma or atopic dermatitis/eczema. Allergen-specific immunotherapy is currently the only treatment able to cure allergic diseases. For the majority of the patients, symptomatic treatments based on corticosteroids or other short-term-acting drugs remain as therapeutic treatment. Because the common hallmark of all allergic diseases is related to the production of allergen-specific IgE, approaches aimed at eliminating IgE responses, could be an optimal therapy for multi-sensitized patients or patients suffering from a hyper IgE syndrome. Both, poly-sensitization and hyper IgE syndrome can be considered as common diseases that are not causally treatable with the current therapeutic options. Working hypothesis: We propose to investigate the possibility to develop a broad applicable vaccination therapy based on the targeted elimination of B cells responsible for the establishment of IgE memory immune responses (subproject A) and target IgE directly by a vaccination against the receptor binding site (subproject B). We showed that passive immunization with antibodies specific for the extracellular proximal domain of membrane bound IgE (EMPD) on the surface of B cells can suppress the establishment of an allergen-specific IgE response in naïve mice. Our continuously developing vaccination system (modular antigen translocation) has been successfully proven in clinical studies to develop protective antibody responses in patients suffering from cat allergy. As a logical extension of these projects, we propose to develop an active prophylactic vaccination concept aimed at suppressing both the establishment of IgE expressing memory B cells and to target soluble IgE.

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