Figure 1. Blocking IL-7 in type 1 diabetes. Lee et al. and Penaranda et al. have evidence that blocking IL-7 signaling can protect against type 1 diabetes.

IL-7 [a] normally engages the T cell membrane-associated IL-7 receptor (IL-7R; CD127) [b], leading to T cell proliferation and activity [c]. High T cell levels due to IL-7 signaling lead to potent immune activity against pathogens, but mutations thought to activate this pathway are linked with autoimmune disease [d].

Inhibitory IL-7R mAbs independently discovered by Pfizer Inc. and by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco block IL-7 signaling and arrest the progression of type 1 diabetes in mice. Effimune S.A.S. has the anti-IL-7R mAb MD707 in preclinical development for transplant rejection and a range of autoimmune indications.