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The Cambridge-based science company Kyttaro Limited has entered into a world-wide license agreement with Oxford University Innovation (OUI) to develop and commercialize an anti-inflammatory peptide technology platform that is based on naturally occurring proteins derived from ticks, viruses and other organisms that have evolved over millennia to target and inhibit key components of the human immune system.

This research work was led by Professor Shoumo Bhattacharya, and the platform technology was developed with funding received from the British Heart Foundation. The platform has the potential to treat a wide range of inflammatory conditions across multiple therapeutic areas including cardiovascular disease.

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), such as coronary artery disease (CAD), are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide despite extensive use of existing ASCVD therapies (e.g. statins). It is estimated that CAD, which involves plaque formation in the blood vessels supplying the heart, is the most common heart disease in the US with 20M affected individuals and that CAD was responsible for c.360k US deaths in 2019.  Inflammation has been identified as a key risk factor in ASCVD that promotes disease progression and is associated with ASCVD-related complication. Emerging evidence from clinical studies showed that reducing inflammation on top of standard therapy has a clinical benefit and reduces cardiovascular events. 

Professor Shoumo Bhattacharya, Inventor of the technology and PI at the Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, stated: “I am looking forward to collaborating with the team at Kyttaro to accelerate the development of the anti-inflammatory platform technology that is based on naturally occurring proteins that have evolved in parasites for millions of years to circumvent the human’s body immune response. This technology offers hugely promising treatment options for inflammatory conditions including cardiovascular disease.”

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REF 2021 outcomes