A new treatment for allergies

Scientists from the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF) in Davos, from the University of Tokyo, the RIKEN Research Institute in Yokohoma, and from Stanford University recently discovered mechanism that stops the body from reacting with an excessive immune reaction. This could be the basis for a new way to handle allergies.

Most people with allergies have to take medication throughout their life: Their body “thinks” that proteins from the environment are so “strange” that they elicit an immune reaction. Until present, it was not possible to develop an efficient therapy so that the body “learns” to stop in an overreacting way.

Mast cells play a key role in the disease process in allergies: As a reaction towards an allergen – for example pollen or dust mites – they release big amounts of substances that initiate an inflammatory process. Study leader Hideaki Morita and his team discovered that mast cells are not only “bad guys”, but also have a “good side” (see figure): They release the substance interleukin-2 that induces the production of certain immune cells called T-regulatory (Treg) cells. Treg cells can suppress the allergic inflammatory process in the airways induced by interleukin-10.
It is already known for some time that Treg cells can subdue an excessive immune response and the resulting inflammation. For example, injections with Treg cells prevented autoimmune diseases in mice. However, for Treg cell treatments one needs a large amount of these cells, which is not easy to realise. In the blood, there are just a few of them, and in vitro they are difficult to produce. Using mast cells, Treg cells could be easily produced in the laboratory in large quantities. “The mechanism that we discovered, could be the basis for a new way to handle allergies,” says Hideaki Morita.

Felicitas Witte

Source:
Morita et al., An interleukin-33-Mast Cell-interleukin-2 Axis Suppresses Allergic Inflammation Induced by Papain-Promoting Regulatory T Cell Numbers, Immunity (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni .2015.06.021

Certification by the Swiss Biobanking Platform – OPTIMA-Label

Davos BioSciences AG achieved the official OPTIMA label of the Swiss Biobanking Platform for its biobank infrastructure as of 30.05.2022. This is another important step for Davos BioSciences AG and CK-CARE. The label attests to the full implementation of a QM system. The OPTIMA-Label confirms: “Compliance with the Good Biobanking Practices; in particular OECD Best practice guidelines for biological resource centres (2007), ISBER Best practices (2018) and IARC Common minimum technical standards (2017). It follows established standards, including the ISO 20387:2018 – general requirements for biobanking. This certification approach is part of our long-term strategy to provide high-quality samples to the research community”.

Certification by the Swiss Biobanking Platform

After some effort, Davos BioSciences AG achieved the official NORMA label of the Swiss Biobanking Platform for its biobank infrastructure as of 17.08.2021. This is an important step for Davos BioSciences AG and CK-CARE. The NORMA-Label confirms: “Compliance with professional standards is essential to perform our daily biobanking activities according to Good Biobanking Practices; in particular OECD Best practice guidelines for biological resource centres (2007), ISBER Best practices (2018) and IARC Common minimum technical standards (2017). It follows established standards, including the ISO 20387:2018 – general requirements for biobanking. This certification approach is part of our long-term strategy to provide high-quality samples to the research community”. Certificate of the Swiss Biobanking Plattform

Claudio Rhyner, PhD appointed as the new Managing Director

On 1 October 2020, Claudio Rhyner succeeded Dr. Georg Schäppi as Managing Director of CK-CARE. Georg Schäppi was appointed CEO at the University Children’s Hospital Zurich as of 1 December, 2020.

Claudio Rhyner was born and grew up in Davos. After studying chemistry and molecular biology, he graduated specialising in asthma and allergy research. He was active in fundamental scientific research, including as head of the research “Vaccine Development” group at the SIAF (Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research). In this capacity he published numerous publications and filed several patents. After holding a leading position in a SME in molecular diagnostics, he became CEO of Biosciences Davos. Biosciences Davos is a spin-off organisation of CK-CARE in the field of biobanking and is part of the Medizincampus Davos. He continues to hold this position.

In his private life, Claudio Rhyner is actively engaged in politics and culture in the Davos community. He also completed a postgraduate degree in the field of management of small and medium-sized companies at the University St. Gallen.

Atopic dermatitis: an expanding therapeutic pipeline for a complex disease

Our founder, Prof. Thomas Bieber, published an important contribution in the treatment of AD:

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease with a complex pathophysiology that underlies a wide spectrum of clinical phenotypes. AD remains challenging to treat owing to the limited response to available therapies. However, recent advances in understanding of disease mechanisms have led to the discovery of novel potential therapeutic targets and drug candidates

In addition to regulatory approval for the IL-4Ra inhibitor dupilumab, the anti-IL-13 inhibitor tralokinumab and the JAK1/2 inhibitor baricitinib in Europe, there are now more than 70 new compounds in development. This Review assesses the various strategies and novel agents currently being investigated for AD and highlights the potential for a precision medicine approach to enable prevention and more effective long-term control of this complex disease.

read more…

Kühne-Foundation Annual Report 2020

“Key priority of the Kühne Foundation is the support for training, further education as well as research and science in the area of logistics. This also includes Humanitarian Logistics and a project concentrating on free global trade.
Another focal point is our medicine funding through research, therapy, and education in the fields of allergology and cardiology. In Davos, Switzerland, we operate the Hochgebirgsklinik, a renowed rehabilitation hospital owned by us, and various research institutions. In the cultural sector, we support leading opera houses and concert halls and belong to the main sponsors of the Salzburg Festival and Lucerne Festival.”

Prof. Dr. h.c. Klaus-Michael Kühne