PureTech’s lymphatic leap

How lymphatics discoveries could yield new opportunities for PureTech

PureTech Health plc is launching a new branch of inquiry into the lymphatic system following discoveries that the network extends into the brain and could be used to deliver immunotherapies directly to tissues.

While research into the links between the immune system, brain and gut has been growing, the lymphatic system -- a network of vessels and lymph nodes through which immune cells travel and encounter antigens -- has remained relatively unexplored.

The topic was one focus of PureTech’s inaugural Brain, Immune, Gut (BIG) Axis Summit in January, which discussed how the finding that the CNS contains lymph vessels could change the way immunologists and neurologists think about CNS disorders.

The provocative discovery overturned longstanding dogma that the brain, unlike the rest of the body’s organs, had no such vessels.

It’s early days for sizing up the finding’s translational potential, but hypotheses are starting to flow. One idea is that the build up of toxic aggregates in neurodegenerative diseases may result from deficient drainage of interstitial fluid from the brain, which could serve as a target.

The summit also discussed opportunities beyond neurodegeneration, including those PureTech is exploring through its Glyph technology, which it licensed last year from Monash University.

With the technology, PureTech hopes to use the lymphatic system to transport and distribute therapeutics, including

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