Expanding treatment options for inflammatory bowel disease: A novel mechanism of antibody-based immunotherapy

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, which are characterized by inflammation along the gastrointestinal tract. New biological therapies have revolutionized treatment for IBD. However, 10-20% of people are not effectively treated by biological therapy and we predict that these drugs will stop working in up to 40% of people with IBD. At present, we can not predict which people will be effectively treated by current drugs. It is essential that we identify new treatments for people with IBD and find ways to predict which individuals will respond to new and existing therapies. My laboratory has found that "intravenous immunoglobulin" (IVIg; antibodies purified from blood donors) can block intestinal inflammation in mouse models, and we have identified the mechanisms responsible for its anti-inflammatory activity. In our next steps, we will translate these findings to humans by examining the impact of IVIg on the human immune system in “humanized mice” (mice with human immune cells) and in people receiving IVIg therapy. We will also examine genetic factors linked to treatment failure that we can use to predict whether IVIg, and biological therapies currently used to treat IBD, will be effective. This is a critical step toward developing “personalized medicine” for patients with IBD, that is, using the right drug for the right person. IVIg is not currently used to treat IBD but it is used to treat people with other immune diseases. Therefore, the research proposed here, can be rapidly translated into effective new therapies for people with IBD.
Principal Investigator / Supervisor
SLY, Laura
Co-Investigator(s) / Trainee
University of British Columbia
Canadian Blood Services-CIHR Partnership Operating Grant Program
British Columbia
Total Amount Awarded
Project Start Date
Project End Date