Dynavax Demonstrates Ability Of Immunostimulatory DNA Sequences To Inhibit Symptoms Of Allergic Asthma In Animal Model

December 15, 1998

BERKELEY, CA (December 15, 1998): Injections of proprietary immunostimulatory DNA sequences (ISS-DNA), under development by Dynavax Technologies Corporation, can alter the nature of the immune response in allergic asthma, while also inhibiting the symptoms of that disease, the company announced. Dynavax scientists and their collaborators published research in the December 15 issue of the Journal of Immunology showing that a single systemic or mucosal (intranasal or intratracheal) administration of ISS-DNA in an animal model of allergic asthma inhibited disease symptoms as effectively as systemic corticosteroids administered daily for seven days. Moreover, unlike the corticosteroids, ISS-DNA injections were able to redirect the immune response away from the strong Th2 response associated with allergic inflammation toward a non-allergic Th1 response.

"This study demonstrates in vivo, for the first time, that ISS-DNA can be used as a drug to both inhibit and modify allergic disease," said Dino Dina, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Dynavax. "In fact, our lead ISS-DNA molecule has proven active in every animal species that Dynavax scientists and their collaborators have tested to date, including primates. Based on their research, we believe that ISS-DNA therapy may provide a totally novel, highly effective therapy for chronic allergic pulmonary inflammation."

The Journal of Immunology study was authored by Dynavax founder, Eyal Raz, M.D. and David Broide, M.B. Ch.B. of the Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego; and their collaborators Helen Tighe, Ph.D., Minh-Duc Nguyen, and Siamak Malek at Dynavax; Tim Gifford and John Van Uden at the University of California, San Diego; and Jurgen Schwarze, M.D. and Erwin W. Gelfand, M.D. at the Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, CO.

In the study, the researchers used a mouse model of allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness to investigate whether ISS-DNA could inhibit the generation of Th2 cytokines (IL-5, GM-CSF, IL-3) important to the proliferation and survival of white blood cells involved in inflammation (eosinophils). They also examined the effect of ISS-DNA on subsequent airway hyperreactivity in response to an allergic challenge. The researchers' results showed that administration of ISS-DNA inhibited both airway hyperresponsiveness and eosinophil infiltration by exerting a significant inhibitory effect on the generation of eosinophil-active cytokines (IL-5, GM-CSF and IL-3). Moreover, while both ISS-DNA and corticosteroids inhibited IL-5 generation, only ISS-DNA was able to induce IFN-g, a cytokine that biases the immune system to generate a Th1 (and not Th2) response to subsequently encountered allergens.

Dynavax's proprietary ISS-DNA represents a broad technology platform for modulating immune system responses that has applications to a large number of medically important disease states. Based on this platform, Dynavax is focusing its initial development efforts on generating new therapeutics for the treatment or prevention of allergies and asthma. Additionally, the company plans to collaborate with major corporate partners to apply its technology in other key areas. For example, Dynavax technology is uniquely suited for use in enhancing the ability of current and new infectious disease vaccines to produce effective immune responses. Similarly, the ability of ISS-DNA to modulate the immune response should enable the development of more effective therapies for chronic infectious diseases and cancer. Dynavax's technology also provides opportunities to intervene directly in inflammatory and autoimmune disease processes, thus offering unique alternatives to current symptomatic treatments.

Dynavax has developed a strong patent portfolio including allowed patents and patent applications. The company has key proprietary positions on ISS sequences that are active in multiple species including primates and on the use of those sequences in allergy and asthma, and for enhancing responses to infectious disease and cancer antigens. Dynavax has also filed multiple patents covering the use of ISS-DNA to suppress Th2 and enhance Th1 immune responses.

Dynavax Technologies Corporation, a privately held biotechnology company, was founded in 1996 to discover and develop products to treat or prevent disease based on proprietary DNA molecules and their use in modulating immune systems responses.
Dino Dina, M.D. President and CEO
Dynavax Technologies Corp. 510-848-5100
Media Contact:
Joan Kureczka
J. Kureczka Associates 415-821-2413

Kureczka/Martin Associates

Related Asthma Articles from Brightsurf:

Breastfeeding and risks of allergies and asthma
In an Acta Paediatrica study, exclusive breastfeeding for the first 3 months was linked with a lower risk of respiratory allergies and asthma when children reached 6 years of age.

Researchers make asthma breakthrough
Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have made a breakthrough that may eventually lead to improved therapeutic options for people living with asthma.

Physics vs. asthma
A research team from the MIPT Center for Molecular Mechanisms of Aging and Age-Related Diseases has collaborated with colleagues from the U.S., Canada, France, and Germany to determine the spatial structure of the CysLT1 receptor.

New knowledge on the development of asthma
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have studied which genes are expressed in overactive immune cells in mice with asthma-like inflammation of the airways.

Eating fish may help prevent asthma
A scientist from James Cook University in Australia says an innovative study has revealed new evidence that eating fish can help prevent asthma.

Academic performance of urban children with asthma worse than peers without asthma
A new study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology shows urban children with poorly controlled asthma, particularly those who are ethnic minorities, also suffer academically.

Asthma Controller Step Down Yardstick -- treatment guidance for when asthma improves
The focus for asthma treatment is often stepping up treatment, but clinicians need to know how to step down therapy when symptoms improve.

Asthma management tools improve asthma control and reduce hospital visits
A set of comprehensive asthma management tools helps decrease asthma-related visits to the emergency department, urgent care or hospital and improves patients' asthma control.

Asthma linked to infertility but not among women taking regular asthma preventers
Women with asthma who only use short-acting asthma relievers take longer to become pregnant than other women, according to research published in the European Respiratory Journal.

What are the best ways to diagnose and manage asthma?
A team of experts from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston examined the current information available from many different sources on diagnosing and managing mild to moderate asthma in adults and summarized them.

Read More: Asthma News and Asthma Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.