Alma’s therapeutic approach derives from the understanding of what keeps most people healthy, preventing them from developing autoimmune diseases, despite being constantly exposed to a myriad of triggers.
The Company’s Scientific founder discovered that extracellular Heat Shock Proteins (HSP) regulate the immune system and control regulatory T cell (Treg) migration, function and homeostasis.
Whereas HSP are expressed at very low levels under physiological conditions, they are abundantly expressed at the inflammatory site, serving as internal danger signals that alerts the immune system to take action. Highly immunogenic, they provoke an effective immune response and are recognized by Treg as self-antigens.
In the healthy individual, HSP at the inflammatory site trigger local Treg activation and expansion, keeping the immune response under strict control and preventing run-away inflammation. When local regulatory control malfunctions and potentially harmful autoreactive responses arise, immune control may be restored by directing potent ‘HSP-specific’ Treg from the peripheral circulation to the inflammatory site.
Alma’s breakthrough treatment harnesses the therapeutic potential of Heat Shock Proteins to augment the body’s natural regulatory signals and instruct the rogue immune system to correct and self-regulate
The treatment consists of a plasmid (a mini-circle of DNA that does not integrate in the host’s own DNA) that encodes for HSP, injected intramuscularly where it remains in depot
Plasmids are taken up by dendritic cells and macrophages
The Protein-antigen is processed and peptide epitopes are presented on the cell surface
Upon sensing of uncontrolled local inflammation anywhere in the body, peptide epitopes interact with their T-cell receptors
Peripheral HSP-specific regulatory T-cells (Treg) are primed and redirected into the circulation
Antigen-presenting cells and primed HSP-specific Treg migrate to the inflammatory site with high precision and specificity, to resolve inflammation and reinstate balance
Once control is reinstated and inflammation is resolved, HSP expression diminishes and cell migration ceases
Alma’s treatment is self-regulating, acting only when required.
By correcting and reinforcing the body’s own regulatory mechanism,
it responds selectively to the patients’ individual needs.