Cellular and molecular immunological process in neurodermatitis patients

On the occasion of the third Global Allergy Forum Davos, the CK-CARE directors together with a group of internationally leading researchers from the field of allergic skin diseases, compiled an article which concentrates particularly on innovative developments in neurodermatitis and was recently published in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. The journal dedicated the cover page of that edition to the subject of neurodermatitis (picture; Werfel et al., 2016: 138: 336-349).

The article tackles the following topics: skin barrier in neurodermatitis, neurodermatitis subgroups, personalised medicine, microbiomes, changes in the immune response, allergen-specific IgE antibodies, mechanisms of itching, allergens and other environmental factors and diagnosis and treatment.

There is a considerable, unmet medical need to define immunological endotypes of neurodermatitis because these have significant repercussions for the forthcoming stratification of the phenotype of neurodermatitis and the resulting, targeted therapies in the development of personalised medicine. Studies on novel biological agents, which have been used in the treatment of neurodermatitis, are also presented in this review. The clinical efficacy of new immunological approaches using biological agents in patients with neurodermatitis is proved by the use of dupilumap (an antibody that blocks recognition of IL-4). A number of studies with other pharmaceuticals that specifically target the immune system players are currently underway. Such approaches might have immunomodulatory and hence positive clinical effects on the general condition of the skin, as well as on the underlying immune discrepancy, which play a role in concurrent diseases. The effect of these immunological treatments on the disturbed microbiome in neurodermatitis patients and in itching might yield other potentially positive knowledge of use for treatment purposes.

Certification by the Swiss Biobanking Platform – VITA-Label

Building up a proper Governance through accountable mechanisms is key to foster trustworthiness and the pre-requisite for the appropriate use of biological resources. Our CK-CARE Biobank has recently been awarded by Swiss Biobanking Platform (SBP) with the VITA Label, which demonstrates compliance with the applicable legal and ethical framework. This labelling approach is part of our long-term strategy to strengthen biobanking practices and provide high-quality samples to the research community.

CK-CARE Team Meeting October 10th- 11th, 2022

This year’s CK-CARE team event in Davos focused on strengthening cross-center communication and collaboration. Our team members learned more about each other and the canton Graubünden by producing several Grison specialties «Cross-center team building» to prepare the scientific work.

Embarking on this journey made all the difference in promoting real teamwork! Despite the fact none of us really knew how to make these Grison delicacies let alone had the relevant skills, each team excelled in their own unique way. Driven by trust, respect and a genuine motivation to solve the given tasks, team members rose to the challenge of collaboration with fun and creativity. All vital ingredients to the following day research acitivities.

It has been a truly remarkable meeting – we look forward to many more.

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.

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