Repertoire Immune Medicines has teamed up with Yale University to understand the immunological causes of multiple sclerosis (MS). The partners hope to identify pathogenic T cells that drive MS and the antigens that activate them.
Flagship Pioneering’s Repertoire, which the VC shop created by merging Cogen Immune Medicines and Torque Therapeutics, is focused on using its DECODE platform to identify T-cell receptor-antigen pairs that drive cellular immunity. By discovering disease-causing antigens and T cells that recognize them, Repertoire aims to treat cancers, infectious diseases and autoimmune disorders.
The Yale partnership will provide Repertoire with materials to fuel its platform. Yale researchers will share human T-cell receptor sequences with the biotech for DECODE analysis. Through the analysis, Repertoire aims to identify the antigens that activate the immune cells.
“By understanding the immune codes in T cells from patients with MS, we will understand the basis of cellular immunity and hope to develop transformational medicines that no longer involve immunosuppression,” Anthony Coyle, Ph.D., president of research and development at Repertoire, said in a statement.
The partnership gives Repertoire access to experts in MS including David Hafler, M.D., who will lead the Yale research team. Hafler has driven forward understanding of MS for decades, including through papers that identified myelin-reactive T cells and genetic variants associated with the disease.
Tapping into the expertise and human T-cell receptor sequences possessed by Hafler and his team may support the expansion of Repertoire’s pipeline beyond its early areas of focus. The pipeline is led by a clinical-phase solid tumor candidate and features early discovery work on Type 1 diabetes, gastrointestinal cancer and infectious diseases.
Repertoire raised $189 million earlier this month to fund the advancement of the pipeline. The round brought the total raised by Repertoire to above $350 million and expanded its investor syndicate.