Celgene and IMIDomics Partnering to Develop Therapies for Lupus and Other Immune-related Disorders

Ines Martins, PhD avatar

by Ines Martins, PhD |

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Lupus care facility study

Celgene and IMIDomics are teaming up to develop new approaches to treating immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) like lupus.

The collaboration will give Celgene access to Barcelona-based IMIDomics’ database, which includes treatment and molecular data from patients who have the diseases. Kay goals are to identify new biomarkers for the disorders and targets for treating them. Another goal is to help researchers stratify patient populations for clinical trials.

Celgene, which is based in Summit, New Jersey, will finance any products resulting from the collaboration.

“We are excited to work with Celgene, a leader in developing compounds for patients with autoimmune diseases,” Sandy Zweifach, IMIDomics’ executive chairman, said in a press release. “Under this agreement, we will apply our unique database of clinical, phenotypic, genotypic, and analytical findings to potentially advance and accelerate Celgene’s discovery and development efforts targeting diverse Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases with substantial unmet needs.”

“IMIDomics’ database provides a powerful window into the clinical and molecular underpinnings of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases,” said Douglas E. Bassett, a Celgene vice president. “This collaboration has exciting potential to impact our ongoing efforts to innovate breakthrough therapies for unmet medical needs in this space, and we’re enthusiastic to team up with IMIDomics to unlock the full potential of this resource for patient benefit.”

The hallmark of IMIDs is dysregulation of immune response, which leads to inflammatory pathophysiology, or abnormal functioning, and ultimately tissue destruction. Lupus is one of these conditions, along with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

An estimated 5 to 7 percent of people in the West have an IMID, according to an article in the  Postgraduate Medical Journal titled “Immune‐mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) and biologic therapy: a medical revolution.

Genetic factors are believed to be critical determinants of whether a person is susceptible to an IMID. And animal models have led to the identification of several genes that contribute to an autoimmune condition when deleted or over-expressed. Expression is the process by which information from a gene is used to create a functional product like a protein.

Many IMIDs share similar environmental circumstances, such as injury or infection.

A number of people have multiple IMIDs. One study found that 39 percent of patients with ankylosing spondylitis also developed iritis, 16 percent developed psoriasis and 8 percent developed an inflammatory bowel disease. It is also common for several IMIDs to exist in one family.

IMIDomics is a spin-off of the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research at Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona.