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Companies Focus on STING Pathway to Boost Immune Response in Patients

March 14, 2019 / Alex Keown

In February, Boston-based IFM Therapeutics launched its second subsidiary, IFM Due, a company focused on developing STING antagonists, among others, to target diseases like Parkinson’s, NASH and lupus. STING antagonists have become a hot area of exploration for many companies. The drugs target a protein called STING (stimulator of interferon genes), which plays an important role in the innate immune system, which is the body’s first line of defense against various pathogens. When STING is activated to ward off an invading pathogen, the body begins to produce inflammatory proteins called cytokines and interferons. Those inflammatory proteins then kick the innate immune system into gear, which then produces T cells to destroy the pathogens. In order to boost this immune response in patients battling a number of diseases, researchers are diving into the development of medications that will activate the STING pathway in order to boost the body’s T cell response. Because o...