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12:00 AM
 | 
Jun 29, 2009
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Early validation2

Bayhill Therapeutics Inc. thinks its approach using the body's own antigen-presenting cells to restore healthy immune function could revolutionize autoimmune therapies. For new partner Genentech Inc., the program is its first in diabetes since it dropped IGF1 in 2001, though the company has plenty of immunology experience, and owner Roche has several programs for Type II diabetes.

An improper immune response characterized by T cells attacking normal host cells is the hallmark of autoimmune diseases. Typical treatment is with immunosuppressants, which reduce symptoms but leave patients vulnerable to opportunistic infections and can cause side effects of their own.

In the case of Type I diabetes, an autoimmune attack is directed against a patient's own insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells, leading to deficient glycemic control and requiring life-long injections of insulin.

Bayhill is using technology invented at Stanford University that uses modified plasmid DNA to promote immune tolerance of a specific protein.

The company's BHT-3021 is...

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