The DAVIAD Project
This aim of the DAVIAD proposal is to develop a therapeutic vaccine for Graves’ disease (GD) that has a better safety and efficacy profile than current treatments. There is a high level of unmet need in the treatment of Graves’ disease especially in patients with Graves orbitopathy and children and adolescents (who generally suffer from the most chronic form of the disease). Autoimmune diseases arise as a consequence of a hypersensitive response to self antigens. This proposal focuses on the development of an antigen specific vaccine therapy to reinstate immune tolerance to Graves’ disease. The selected peptides behave as apitopes (antigen processing independent epitopes) and bind to MHC class II molecules in the correct confirmation to induce tolerance.
In the first instance DAVIAD will further characterise antigen specific peptides (based on the autoantigen associated with the disease) already selected using a validated discovery platform. DAVIAD will generate translational data to support a clinical trial application, conduct disease model studies and prepare the clinical trial application. DAVIAD will design and conduct a phase I/IIa trial in GD patients to show that efficacy and safety compare favourably with current treatments and those in development.