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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00392

Peptide Immunotherapy for Type 1 Diabetes – Clinical advances

 Mark Peakman1 and Emma L. Smith2*
  • 1Immunobiology, King's College London, United Kingdom
  • 2UCB Pharma (United Kingdom), United Kingdom

Autoimmune and allergic diseases occur when an individual mounts an inappropriate immune response to a self-antigen, or an innocuous environmental antigen. This triggers a pathogenic T cell response resulting in damage to specific tissues and organs. In type one diabetes this manifests as destruction of the insulin-secreting  cells, resulting in a life-long dependency on recombinant insulin. Modulation of the pathogenic T cell response with antigen-specific peptide immunotherapy offers the potential to restore the immune homeostasis and prevent further tissue destruction. Recent clinical advances with peptide therapy approaches in both type 1 diabetes and other diseases are beginning to show encouraging results. New technologies targeting the peptides to specific cell types are also moving from preclinical development to the clinic. Whilst many challenges remain in clinical development, not least selection of the optimal dose and dosing frequency, this is clearly becoming a very active field of drug development.

Keywords: Autoimmunity, type 1 diabetes, Peptide immunotherapy, tolerance, Antigen-specific

Received: 01 Nov 2017; Accepted: 12 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

John Isaacs, Newcastle University, United Kingdom

Reviewed by:

Roland M. Tisch, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States
Zhibin Chen, University of Miami, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Peakman and Smith. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Emma L. Smith, UCB Pharma (United Kingdom), 208 Bath Road, Slough, SL1 3WE, United Kingdom, emma.smith@ucb.com