Resolve Therapeutics is pioneering a novel approach to the treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), a potentially life-threatening autoimmune disease that affects some 1.5 million people in the United States and over 5 million patients worldwide. Approximately 90% of SLE patients are women of childbearing age.
The molecular events that lead to lupus are becoming more clearly understood, and are thought to involve the body recognizing cellular debris from apoptotic cells, primarily RNA or DNA bound to nuclear proteins, as foreign and generating autoantibodies against these nucleic acid/protein complexes. The resulting "immune complexes" trigger chronic activation of Interferon, and systemic inflammation. In addition, the immune complexes get lodged in key organs where they directly damage tissues, for example in the skin and kidney.
Resolve has generated two families of Fc-nuclease fusion proteins, which bind to and degrade the immune complexes circulating in lupus patients' blood. The technology is the innovative work of Dr. Keith Elkon and Dr. Jeff Ledbetter in their laboratories at the University of Washington School of Medicine and is exclusively licensed to Resolve Therapeutics.