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Compound for the treatment of pemphigus vulgaris

Organization name

TransMIT Gesellschaft für Technologietransfer mbH



The invention affects a T-cell based immunotherapy of the autoantibody mediated autoimmune disorder pemphigus vulgaris, a bullous skin disease.

The cause of this disorder are antibodies directed against naturally produced proteins. These proteins are responsible for a mechanical cohesion of the epidermis. As a result of this autoimmune disease the skin cells and tissues are damaged and finally destroyed.


The invention concerns a T-cell based immunotherapy using peptides which are derived from human membrane protein desmoglein. By applying a medical preparation including a peptide or a combination of peptides, a specific immunological tolerance is triggered. Therefore, the clinical signs of pemphigus vulgaris disease improve, because the base for disease is deprived.


The currently common treatment of pemphigus vulgaris consists in the application of cortisone preperations in combination with immunosuppressants. With increasing disease duration these preperations cause comorbidities, e.g. osteoporosis, diabetes mellitus and thrombosis. A further option for therapy is the immunoabsorption, whereby immunoglobulies are selectively eliminated out of the blood. This treatment is practiced in severe cases. The monoclonal antibody rituximab may cause a healing of the wounds, but the increasing risk of infection and thrombosis might lead to serious side effects.

The application of the new technology in a medical preparation enables a more specific and therefore well tolerated therapy. The application initiates a specific immunotolerance.


In the mouse model as a basis model for T-cell mediated autoimmune diseases proof of principle was established.


The worldwide incidence of new cases per one million people is 1-10, with variations in different regions and among different ethnic groups. Incidence is increased in patients of Jewish descent those of Mediterranean origin and from the Indian subcontinent, as high as 16 to 32 cases per one million people. Mostly the disease appears at the age of 50 to 60 years, pediatric pemphigus is rare. If untreated the disease is generally lethal.

Drug development with orphan drug designation will be interesting.


On behalf of its shareholder Philipps-Universität Marburg TransMIT GmbH is looking for cooperation partners or licensees.

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