AMA004 is a reverse vaccine for the treatment of arthritis. Arthritis is an autoimmune disease where T lymphocytes selectively attack and destroy chondrocytes in the cartilage of the joints. The autoimmune destruction of chondrocytes coincides with chronic inflammation in the synovia and to the loss of cartilage, resulting in severe pain and stiffness of the joints.
With 1 to 2 percent of the population affected by the disease, arthritis is the most common cause of disability worldwide. So far, a cure for arthritis has not become available. Treatment options vary depending on the type of arthritis and include physical therapy, lifestyle changes (including exercise and weight control), orthopedic bracing and medications. Joint replacement surgery may be required in eroding forms of arthritis.
It has previously been shown that viral vector-mediated expression of collagen type 2, the primary self-antigen of arthritis, in the liver of mice both protects and cures the reverse vaccinated animal from arthritis. Using AMA004 comprising an SVac vector encoding collagen type 2 we intent to restore the immune tolerance to this protein and thereby stop the chronic inflammation and loss of cartilage in the joints of patients.