We are pleased to present Professor Ranjeny Thomas to speak on Antigen-specific tolerising immunotherapy for autoimmune diseases

When: 7th September 2023

Where: AIBN Level 1 Seminar room or online via zoom click here to join

TIme: 11am-12pm


Tolerising immunotherapy including antigen-specific immunotherapy (ASI) holds great promise for autoimmune diseases, where there are limited treatment options and/or scope for prevention. These diseases include rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and type 1 diabetes (T1D). Preclinical success for this approach has been demonstrated in vivo, and promising evidence for various strategies that restore immune regulation is beginning to emerge from clinical trials in people at risk and after onset of autoimmune diseases. Hurdles include the development of robust prognostic and predictive biomarkers for therapeutic outcome and identification of the most appropriate population and timing of intervention. ASI promise greater specificity and safety than non-ASI, and thus great potential for autoimmune disease interception in high-risk individuals. I will discuss our work in developing and trialling innovative liposome immuntherapies for tolerising ASI in autoimmune diseases, including the development and use of biomarkers. I will demonstrate how the results of our clinical studies and trials in RA open new insights into the concept of tolerance, immunotherapeutic mechanisms of action, innovative use of biomarkers in clinical trials and therapeutic implementation of ASI.   


Professor Thomas is Professor of Rheumatology at University of Queensland, Translational Research Institute, consultant rheumatologist at Princess Alexandra Hospital, and fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and member of the Order of Australia. She founded two Uniquest spin-off companies Dendright (2006-2021), and Liperate in the 2022 CUREator round.

Her research seeks to understand autoimmune disease and restoration of immune tolerance. Through this work, she developed dendritic cell-based citrullinated antigen-specific immunotherapy in the first proof-of-concept trial in Rheumatoid Arthritis. She developed a liposome immunotherapy that targets dendritic cells to induce antigen-specific tolerance, opening new opportunities for the control and prevention of autoimmune disease. Dendright progressed a liposome-based tolerance strategy for rheumatoid arthritis to a phase I trial, and a trial of a liposome-based tolerance strategy for type 1 diabetes is planned for 2024. She has contributed major insights into immune tolerance mechanisms and interaction between microbiome and the immune system to trigger spondyloarthropathy.


About AIBN Seminar Series

The AIBN Seminar series showcases a range of seminars across different topics and disciplines


AIBN Level 1 Seminar room or via zoom: https://uqz.zoom.us/j/84905769928