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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Regenerative Immunology: A New Era for the Treatment of Autoimmune Conditions

The immune system plays a key role in determining whether a response to an injury results in a scar or in regeneration. A growing body of evidence focusing on how regeneration occurs within highly regenerative organisms has recently provided interesting insights around the potential to generate pro-regenerative responses in humans, and, more specifically, in some categories of patients that are not able to respond to a chronic immune insult.

For several decades, the majority of the therapeutic approaches for autoimmune disorders have focused exclusively on modulating the immune system. This approach has resulted in a partial clinical efficacy that, at best, has only been able to slow disease progression.

The intestinal fibrosis occurring in patients affected by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one notable example. Intestinal fibrosis is a consequence of local chronic inflammation and is characterised by excessive extracellular matrix, which ultimately transforms functional tissue into permanently damaged tissue. Several cell types, including fibroblasts, multipotent progenitors, stellate, bone marrow-derived cells, endothelial cells etc., contribute to the development of autoimmune conditions such as IBD, suggesting that targeting the immune system alone in such a complex environment will not result in a highly efficacious response within these patients. This is evidenced within the patient population, where more than 50% of those affected by IBD demonstrate relapse or a refractory response to the immunomodulatory therapies currently available and undergo recurring injury inflicted by the chronic inflammatory insults, severely affecting the quality of life of the patients (1).

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Giovanni Amabile has more than 10 years of academic research experience from prestigious institutions such as the Whetherall Institute of Molecular Medicine of Oxford, UK, and Harvard Medical School, US. He is author of several key publications in the field of immunology and stem cells in top magazines such as Nature, Nature Communication, Nature Cell Biology, Cancer Cell, Blood, JCI, and more. Giovanni served as CSO at ADIENNE Pharma & Biotech SA where he was responsible for all the preclinical and clinical research programmes, as well as for the group’s scientific and clinical strategy. In 2018, Giovanni was appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Enthera where he was responsible for the entire research and development strategy, including lead candidate identification and selection, as well as for the operations and financials. In December 2019, Giovanni was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the company.
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Giovanni Amabile
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