Within the category of auto-immune diseases we include irritable bowel diseases (IBD) which may be responses to non-human, but common epitopes. Aptamarkers are particularly appropriate for the detection of diseases that are the result of an inappropriate immune response because aptamers are not antibodies. An application of Aptamarker selection to pools of individuals that exhibit a specific auto-immune response versus those that do not will result in the characterization of aptamers that identify both common variable regions across the triggering antibodies, as well as relatively rare variable regions. With an Aptamarker™ approach we will be able to identify specific types of immune response based on a characterization of the antibodies involved in the response.
Examples of applications are:
Characterization of the type of IBD:
Different IBDs may result in similar symptoms in individuals affected. For the development of effective treatments it is essential that clinical trial enrollees are all exhibiting the same type of ailment. In this version of the Aptamarker™ platform we would focus selection on antibodies, and identify the type of the disease by characterizing the type of antibody identified. This would be a blood based analysis.
Characterization of the effect of microbiome:
Aptamarkers are not limited to blood for application. Selections could be performed fecal material, and as such, variation in epitopes presented by the microbiome across individuals affected by an IBD versus those non-affected would be characterized by enriched Aptamarkers™. A key difficulty in the analysis of fecal material is the high level of heterogeneity across individuals. This difficulty is overcome with the Aptamarker™ platform as selection is focused on those targets that are in common, and those targets alone.
Evaluation of therapeutic effect:
Aptamarkers for specific antibodies that are a manifestation of the disease would decline in frequency as a result of effective treatment of the disease. As such Aptamarkers developed for an auto-immune pathology could be used to quantify the effectiveness of a treatment and thereby increasing confidence in reimbursement.