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Enzo and NIH File Patent Application for Autoimmune Diseases

Published: Thursday, May 09, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, May 09, 2013
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Collaborators filed a patent application for the management of autoimmune diseases that may include age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a leading cause of blindness in the United States.

 The product platform is broadly applicable to the management of autoimmune disorders and includes therapeutic compositions and methods of treatment, as well as compositions and methods for diagnostic and prognostic applications.

Recent evidence indicates that AMD may be an autoimmune disease. According to the NEI, advanced AMD affects more than 2 million people in the United States, and it is estimated that almost 3.6 million will be affected by the year 2030 due to the aging population. Researchers have identified 80-100 different autoimmune diseases and suspect at least 40 additional diseases of having an autoimmune basis. The NIH estimates up to 23.5 million Americans suffer from these chronic and life-threatening diseases and that the prevalence is rising. The product platform of the patent application not only permits more accurate identification of epitopes to which a patient exhibits autoimmunity, but also allows identification of compounds that can more effectively modulate immune responses and provides therapy that is best tailored for management of the disease. Beyond that, the platform provides for cell therapy for the management of autoimmune disease.

The invention is a result of a scientific collaboration between Enzo and the NIH. Robert Nussenblatt, M.D., Chief of NEI’s Laboratory of Immunology, and two other NEI researchers are co-inventors of the application. Dr. Nussenblatt, a world-renowned ocular immunologist and expert in clinical research design and conduct, has authored or co-authored more than 400 publications and a number of books. Dr. Elazar Rabbani, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Enzo, and Dr. James Donegan, Enzo senior scientist, are also inventors.

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