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Title:  Use of coxiella bacteria to treat autoimmune disease

United States Patent:  6,790,450

Issued:  September 14, 2004

Inventors:  Cowden; William Butler (Kambah, AU); Lafferty; Kevin John (Curtin, AU); Gazda; Lawrence Scott (Hawker, AU)

Assignee:  The Australian National University (Acton, AU)

Appl. No.:  142597

Filed:  March 5, 1999

PCT Filed:  February 14, 1997

PCT NO:  PCT/UA97/00161

PCT PUB.NO.:  WO97/33614

PCT PUB. Date:  September 18, 1997

Abstract

Therapeutic compositions including a species of Coxiella or one or more antigenic components therefrom or analogous or homologous components thereof are disclosed. These compositions are useful in preventing, inhibiting, delaying onset of or otherwise ameliorating the effects of an autoimmune disease in a mammal, particularly insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). They arm also useful in prolonging survival of islet tissue transplanted into a mammal.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In work leading to the present invention, the inventors sought to develop agents capable of blocking the development of IDDM in humans which are sufficiently benign for general use and most effective in terms of deviating the immune response away from destructive autoimmunity.

Accordingly, one aspect of the present invention contemplates a method for preventing, inhibiting, delaying onset of or otherwise ameliorating the effects of an autoimmune disease in a mammal, said method comprising administering to said mammal an autoimmune-preventing effective amount of a species of Coxiella or one or more antigenic components therefrom or analogous or homologous components thereof.

Another aspect of the present invention provides a method for prolonging survival of islet tissue transplanted into a mammal, said method comprising administering into said mammal an effective amount of a species of Coxiella or one or more antigenic components therefrom or analogous or homologous components thereof.

Still a further aspect of the present invention is directed to a therapeutic composition for use in preventing, inhibiting, delaying onset of or otherwise ameliorating the effects of an autoimmune disease in a mammal said composition comprising a species of Coxiella or one or more antigenic components therefrom or analogous or homologous components thereof and one or more pharmaceutically acceptable carriers and/or diluents.

Yet still another aspect of the present invention relates to the use of a species of Coxiella or one or more antigenic components therefrom or analogous or homologous components thereof in the manufacture of a medicament for the treatment of an autoimmune disease in a mammal.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Coxiella is a genus of Gram negative bacteria of the Rickettsieae. The only known species to date is Coxiella burnetii which is the causative agent of Q fever in man. Reference herein to "Coxiella" species, therefore includes C. burnetii or an organism related thereto at the functional level. The present invention requires that the Coxiella species be attenuated, killed or otherwise rendered non-infectious prior to use.

The use of non-infectious agents in the prophylaxis and/or treatment of autoimmune disease conditions offers a major advantage in clinical terms. Infectious agents, even those such as BCG, frequently pose a problem if administered to an immunocompromised individual and, while FCA might be effective in humans, its use is precluded by the severe ulcerative skin lesions which develop following its use. In accordance with the present invention, an ideal agent would be capable of blocking the induction of the autoimmune disease as well as inhibiting disease recurrence in transplanted islet tissue in diabetic patients.

The present invention is particularly directed and exemplified with reference to IDDM as the autoimmune disease. This is done, however, with the understanding that the present invention extends to a range of autoimmune conditions and in particular, autoimmune conditions which can be treated by deviating an immune response away from destructive autoimmunity. Examples of autoimmune conditions contemplated herein other than IDDM include but are not limited to pernicious anaemia, autoimmune chronic hepatitis, ulcerative colitis, primary biliary cirrhosis multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE).

According to a preferred embodiment, the present invention contemplates a method of preventing, inhibiting, delaying onset of or otherwise ameliorating the effects of IDDM in a mammal, said method comprising administering to said mammal an autoimmune-preventing effective amount of a species of Coxiella or one or more antigenic components therefrom or analogous or homologous components thereof.

The present invention extends to the prophylaxis or treatment of any mammal such as but not limited to a human, primate, livestock animal (eg. sheep, cow, horse, pig, donkey), companion animal (eg. dog, cat), laboratory test animal (eg. mouse, rat, guinea pig, rabbit, hamster) or captive wild animal (eg. fox, deer, kangaroo).

Accordingly, a preferred aspect of the present invention is directed to a method of preventing, inhibiting, delaying onset of or otherwise ameliorating the effects of IDDM in a human, said method comprising administering to said mammal an autoimmune-preventing effective amount of a species of Coxiella or one or more antigenic components therefrom or analogous or homologous components thereof.

The present invention particularly relates to C. burnetii or a related organism or an antigenic component thereof or an analogous or homologous component thereof. A particularly useful form of C. burnetii is a killed preparation of the bacterium such as a heat killed or formulin killed preparation. One such useful form is QVAX which is a Q fever vaccine or Q fever complement fixing antigen phase I (QFA) [both available from CSL Limited, Melbourne, Australia]. The present invention extends however to live, attenuated strains of C. burnetii or to preparations of the bacterium killed or rendered non-infectious by other means.

The present invention further contemplates antigenic components of C. burnetii such as a lysed preparation of the whole organism, a membrane,wall preparation, an endospore preparation or one or more purified or partially purified antigenic molecules therefrom or analogous or homologous components thereof.

Accordingly, a particularly preferred embodiment of the present invention is directed to a method for preventing, inhibiting, delaying onset of or otherwise ameliorating the effects of IDDM or pancreatic beta cell destruction in islet tissue transplantation recipients in a human, said method comprising administering to said human, an effective amount of killed or attenuated C. burnetii or an antigenic component thereof or analogous or homologous components thereof.

Preferably, QVAX or QFA is administered.

Generally, administration is for a time and under conditions sufficient for the immune response to deviate from a destructive immune response to a non-destructive immune response.

This and other aspects of the present invention are predicted in part of the surprising result that a Q fever antigen (C. burnetii), and in particular killed C. burnetii in the form of, for example, QFA or QVAX when injected into NOD mice inhibits diabetes in a high percentage (.gtoreq.90%) of treated mice. The agents of the present invention are not recognised immuno-adjuvants and yet are as effective as either BCG or FCA in preventing the development of diabetes in NOD mice.

The present invention contemplates Coxiella sp and in particular C. burnetii and antigenic components thereof as well as recombinant or synthetic forms of the antigenic components and analogues or homologues thereof from another source. The latter molecules may be identified, for example, by natural product screening of coral, ocean beds, plants, soil and other microorganisms. These molecules may structurally mimic the antigenic components from C. burnetii or may only functionally mimic these components by preventing, inhibiting, delaying onset of, curing or otherwise ameliorating the effects of an autoimmune disease and in particular IDDM. One convenient way of screening for analogues or homologues is via anti-idiotypic antibody screening. For example, antibodies are raised to particular antigenic components of C. burnetii and anti-idiotypic antibodies raised to the first mentioned antibodies. The anti-idiotypic antibodies are then used to screen for molecules capable of binding or otherwise interacting with these antibodies.

Alternatively, chemical analogues may be made from isolated antigenic components of C. burnetii or from analogous or homologous components thereof.

Analogues of C. burnetii antigenic components contemplated herein include, but are not limited to, where the antigenic component is proteinaceous, modifications to side chains, incorporation of unnatural amino acids and/or their derivatives during peptide, polypeptide or protein synthesis and the use of crosslinkers and other methods which impose conformational constraints on the proteinaceous molecule or their analogues. Such analogues are particularly useful if they are more stable when used for administration in a vaccine formulation.

Examples of side chain modifications contemplated by the present invention include modifications of amino groups such as by reductive alkylation by reaction with an aldehyde followed by reduction with NaBH4 ; amidination with methylacetimidate; acylation with acetic anhydride; carbamoylation of amino groups with cyanate; trinitrobenzylation of amino groups with 2, 4, 6-trinitrobenzene sulphonic acid (TNBS); acylation of amino groups with succinic anhydride and tetrahydrophthalic anhydride; and pyridoxylation of lysine with pyridoxal-5-phosphate followed by reduction with NaBH4.

The guanidine group of arginine residues may be modified by the formation of heterocyclic condensation products with reagents such as 2,3-butanedione, phenylglyoxal and glyoxal.

The carboxyl group may be modified by carbodiimide activation via O-acylisourea formation followed by subsequent derivitisation, for example, to a corresponding amide.

Sulphydryl groups may be modified by methods such as carboxymethylation with iodoacetic acid or iodoacetamide; performic acid oxidation to cysteic acid; formation of a mixed disulphides with other thiol compounds; reaction with maleimide, maleic anhydride or other substituted maleimide; formation of mercurial derivatives using 4-chloromercuribenzoate, 4-chloromercuriphenylsulphonic acid, phenylmercury chloride, 2-chloromercuri-4-nitrophenol and other mercurials; carbamoylation with cyanate at alkaline pH.

Tryptophan residues may be modified by, for example, oxidation with N-bromosuccinimide or alkylation of the indole ring with 2-hydroxy-5-nitrobenzyl bromide or sulphenyl halides. Tyrosine residues on the other hand, may be altered by nitration with tetranitromethane to form a 3-nitrotyrosine derivative.

Modification of the imidazole ring of a histidine residue may be accomplished by alkylation with iodoacetic acid derivatives or N-carbethoxylation with diethylpyrocarbonate.

Examples of incorporating unnatural amino acids and derivatives during peptide synthesis include, but are not limited to, use of norleucine, 4-amino butyric acid, 4-amino-3-hydroxy-5-phenylpentanoic acid, 6-aminohexanoic acid, t-butylglycine, norvaline, phenylglycine, ornithine, sarcosine, 4-amino-3-hydroxy-6-methylheptanoic acid, 2-thienyl alanine and/or D-isomers of amino acids. A list of unnatural amino acid, contemplated herein is shown in Table 1.

Crosslinkers can be used, for example, to stabilise 3D conformations, using homo-bifunctional crosslinkers such as the bifunctional imido esters having (CH2)n spacer groups with n=1 to n=6, glutaraldehyde, N-hydroxysuccinimide esters and hetero-bifunctional reagents which usually contain an amino-reactive moiety such as N-hydroxysuccinimide and another group specific-reactive moiety such as maleimido or dithio moiety (SH) or carbodiimide (COOH). In addition, peptides can be conformationally constrained by, for example, incorporation of C60 and N60 -methylamino acids, introduction of double bonds between C60 and C62 atoms of amino acids and the formation of cyclic peptides or analogues by introducing covalent bonds such as forming an amide bond between the N and C termini, between two side chains or between a side chain and the N or C terminus.

The present invention further contemplates chemical analogues of C. burnetii antigenic components capable of acting as antagonists or agonists of same or which can act as functional analogues of the antigenic components. Chemical analogues may not necessarily be derived from C. burnetii molecule but may share certain conformational similarities. Alternatively, chemical analogues may be specifically designed to mimic certain physiochemical properties of the antigenic components. Chemical analogues may be chemically synthesised or may be detected following, for example, natural product screening.

Antagonists may be important molecules to control the extent of immunostimulation or to prevent unwanted immune responses such as hypersensitivity reactions. Agonists may be important to enhance immunostimulatory properties.

        TABLE 1
        Non-conventional amino acid                 Code
        .alpha.-aminobutyric acid                   Abu
        .alpha.-amino-.alpha.-methylbutyrate        Mgabu
        aminocyclopropanecarboxylate                Cpro
        aminoisobutyric acid                        Aib
        aminonorbornylcarboxylate cyclohexylalanine Norb
        cyclopentylalanine                          Cpen
        D-alanine                                   Dal
        D-arginine                                  Darg
        D-aspartic acid                             Dasp
        D-cysteine                                  Dcys
        D-glutamine                                 Dgln
        D-glutamic acid                             Dglu
        D-histidine                                 Dhis
        D-isoleucine                                Dile
        D-leucine                                   Dleu
        D-lysine                                    Dlys
        D-methionine                                Dmet
        D-ornithine                                 Dorn
        D-phenylalanine                             Dphe
        D-proline                                   Dpro
        D-serine                                    Dser
        D-threonine                                 Dthr
        D-tryptophan                                Dtrp
        D-tyrosine                                  Dtyr
        D-valine                                    Dval
        D-.alpha.-methylalanine                     Dmala
        D-.alpha.-methylarginine                    Dmarg
        D-.alpha.-methylasparagine                  Dmasn
        D-.alpha.-methylaspartate                   Dmasp
        D-.alpha.-methylcysteine                    Dmcys
        D-.alpha.-methylglutamine                   Dmgln
        D-.alpha.-methylhistidine                   Dmhis
        D-.alpha.-methylisoleucine                  Dmile
        D-.alpha.-methylleucine                     Dmleu
        D-.alpha.-methyllysine                      Dmlys
        D-.alpha.-methylmethionine                  Dmmet
        D-.alpha.-methylornithine                   Dmorn
        D-.alpha.-methylphenylalanine               Dmphe
        D-.alpha.-methylproline                     Dmpro
        D-.alpha.-methylserine                      Dmser
        D-.alpha.-methylthreonine                   Dmthr
        D-.alpha.-methyltryptophan                  Dmtrp
        D-.alpha.-methyltyrosine                    Dmty
        D-.alpha.-methylvaline                      Dmval
        D-N-methylalanine                           Dnmala
        D-N-methylarginine                          Dnmarg
        D-N-methylasparagine                        Dnmasn
        D-N-methylaspartate                         Dnmasp
        D-N-methylcysteine                          Dnmcys
        D-N-methylglutamine                         Dmngln
        D-N-methylglutamate                         Dnmglu
        D-N-methylhistidine                         Dnmhis
        D-N-methylisoleucine                        Dnmile
        D-N-methylleucine                           Dnmleu
        D-N-methyllysine                            Dnmlys
        N-methylcyclohexylalanine                   Nmchexa
        D-N-methylornithine                         Dnmorn
        N-methylglycine                             Nala
        N-methylaminoisobutyrate                    Nmaib
        N-(1-methylpropyl)glycine                   Nile
        N-(2-methylpropyl)glycine                   Nleu
        D-N-methyltryptophan                        Dnmtrp
        D-N-methyltyrosine                          Dnmtyr
        D-N-methylvaline                            Dnmval
        .gamma.-aminobutyric acid                   Gabu
        L-t-butylglycine                            Tbug
        L-ethylglycine                              Etg
        L-homophenylalanine                         Hphe
        L-.alpha.-methylarginine                    Marg
        L-.alpha.-methylaspartate                   Masp
        L-.alpha.-methylcysteine                    Mcys
        L-.alpha.-methylglutamine                   Mgln
        L-.alpha.-methylhistidine                   Mhis
        L-.alpha.-methylisoleucine                  Mile
        L-.alpha.-methylleucine                     Mleu
        L-.alpha.-methylmethionine                  Mmet
        L-.alpha.-methylnorvaline                   Mnva
        L-.alpha.-methylphenylalanine               Mphe
        L-.alpha.-methylserine                      Mser
        L-.alpha.-methyltryptophan                  Mtrp
        L-.alpha.-methylvaline                      Mval
        N-(N-(2,2-diphenylethyl)carbamylmethyl)glycine Nnbhm
        1-carboxy-1-(2,2-diphenylethylamino)cyclopropane Nmbe
        L-N-methylalanine                           Nmala
        L-N-methylarginine                          Nmarg
        L-N-methylasparagine                        Nmasn
        L-N-methylaspartic acid                     Nmasp
        L-N-methylcysteine                          Nmcys
        L-N-methylglutamine                         Nmgln
        L-N-methytglutamic acid                     Nmglu
        Chexa L-N-methylhistidine                   Nmhis
        L-N-methylisolleucine                       Nmile
        L-N-methylleucine                           Nmleu
        L-N-methyllysine                            Nmlys
        L-N-methylmethionine                        Nmmet
        L-N-methylnorleucine                        Nmnle
        L-N-methylnorvaline                         Nmnva
        L-N-methylornithine                         Nmorn
        L-N-methylphenylalanine                     Nmphe
        L-N-methylproline                           Nmpro
        L-N-methylserine                            Nmser
        L-N-methylthreonine                         Nmthr
        L-N-methyltryptophan                        Nmtrp
        L-N-methyltyrosine                          Nmtyr
        L-N-methylvaline                            Nmval
        L-N-methylethylglycine                      Nmetg
        L-N-methyl-t-butylglycine                   Nmtbug
        L-norleucine                                Nle
        L-norvaline                                 Nva
        .alpha.-methyl-aminoisobutyrate             Maib
        .alpha.-methyl-.gamma.-aminobutyrate        Mgabu
        .alpha.-methylcyclohexylalanine             Mchexa
        .alpha.-methylcylcopentylalanine            Mcpen
        .alpha.-methyl-.alpha.-napthylalanine       Manap
        .alpha.-methylpenicillamine                 Mpen
        N-(4-aminobutyl)glycine                     Nglu
        N-(2-aminoethyl)glycine                     Naeg
        N-(3-aminopropyl)glycine                    Norn
        N-amino-.alpha.-methylbutyrate              Nmaabu
        .alpha.-napthylalanine                      Anap
        N-benzylglycine                             Nphe
        N-(2-carbamylethyl)glycine                  Ngln
        N-(carbamylmethyl)glycine                   Nasn
        N-(2-carboxyethyl)glycine                   Nglu
        N-(carboxymethyl)glycine                    Nasp
        N-cyclobutylglycine                         Ncbut
        N-cycloheptylglycine                        Nchep
        N-cyclohexylglycine                         Nchex
        N-cyclodecylglycine                         Ncdec
        N-cylcododecylglycine                       Ncdod
        N-cyclooctylglycine                         Ncoct
        N-cyclopropylglycine                        Ncpro
        N-cycloundecylglycine                       Ncund
        N-(2,2-diphenylethyl)glycine                Nbhm
        N-(3,3-diphenylpropyl)glycine               Nbhe
        N-(3-guanidinopropyl)glycine                Narg
        N-(1-hydroxyethyl)glycine                   Nthr
        N-(hydroxyethyl))glycine                    Nser
        N-(imidazolylethyl))glycine                 Nhis
        N-(3-indolylyethyl)glycine                  Nhtrp
        N-methyl-.gamma.-aminobutyrate              Nmgabu
        D-N-methylmethionine                        Dnmmet
        N-methylcyclopentylalanine                  Nmcpen
        D-N-methylphenylalanine                     Dnmphe
        D-N-methylproline                           Dnmpro
        D-N-methylserine                            Dnmser
        D-N-methylthreonine                         Dnmthr
        N-(1-methytethyl)glycine                    Nval
        N-methyla-napthylalanine                    Nmanap
        N-methylpenicillamine                       Nmpen
        N-(p-hydroxyphenyl)glycine                  Nhtyr
        N-(thiomethyl)glycine                       Ncys
        penicillamine                               Pen
        L-.alpha.-methylalanine                     Mala
        L-.alpha.-methylasparagine                  Masn
        L-.alpha.-methyl-t-butylglycine             Mtbug
        L-methylethylglycine                        Metg
        L-.alpha.-methylglutamate                   Mglu
        L-.alpha.-methylhomophenylalanine           Mhphe
        N-(2-methylthioethyl)glycine                Nmet
        L-.alpha.-methyllysine                      Mlys
        L-.alpha.-methylnorleucine                  Mnle
        L-.alpha.-methylornithine                   Morn
        L-.alpha.-methylproline                     Mpro
        L-.alpha.-methylthreonine                   Mthr
        L-.alpha.-methyltyrosine                    Mtyr
        L-N-methylhomophenylalanine                 Nmhphe
        N-(N-(3,3-diphenylpropyl)carbamylmethyl)glycine Nnbhe

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the human targeted for therapy would be known to be likely to develop IDDM or is a patient who has recently been diagnosed to be in the early stages of IDDM or is a patient suffering from IDDM and who could be transplanted with islet tissue from a non-diabetic donor. The human may also be an "at risk" individual due to certain environmental conditions or may have a genetic propensity to develop IDDM such as due to a family history of the disease.

Another aspect of the present invention contemplates a method for prolonging survival of islet tissue transplanted into a human, said method comprising administering into said mammal an effective amount of a species of C. burnetii or one or more antigenic components therefrom or analogous or homologous components thereof.

Yet another aspect of the present invention provides a therapeutic composition for use in preventing, inhibiting, delaying onset of or otherwise ameliorating the effects of an autoimmune disease in a mammal said composition comprising a species of Coxiella or one or more antigenic components therefrom or analogous or homologous components thereof and one or more pharmaceutically acceptable carriers and/or diluents.

Preferably, the mammal is a human. Preferably the autoimmune condition is IDDM or pancreatic beta cell destruction in islet tissue of transplantation recipients. Preferably the Coxiella species is C. burnetii or an antigenic component or an analogous or homologous component thereof or is a killed or otherwise non-infectious in attenuated form of the bacterium. Most preferably, the administered agent is QFA or QVAX or functionally equivalent forms thereof.

The term "active component" is hereinafter used to refer to a Coxiella species and in particular C. burnetii or to antigenic components therefrom or analogous or homologous components thereof.

The active component is administered in therapeutically effective amounts. A therapeutically effective amount means that amount necessary at least partly to attain the desired effect, or to inhibit or delay the onset of, inhibit the progression of, or halt or prevent altogether, the onset or progression of the particular condition being treated such as IDDM. Such amounts will depend, of course, on the particular condition being treated, the severity of the condition and individual patient parameters including age, physical condition, size, weight and concurrent treatment. These factors are well known to those of ordinary skill in the art and can be addressed with no more than routine experimentation. It is preferred generally that a maximum dose be used, that is, the highest safe dose according to sound medical judgement. It will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art, however, that a lower dose or tolerable dose may be administered for medical reasons, psychological reasons or for virtually any other reasons.

The formulation of such therapeutic compositions is well known to persons skilled in this field. Suitable pharmaceutically acceptable carriers and/or diluents include any and all conventional solvents, dispersion media, fillers, solid carriers, aqueous solutions, coatings, antibacterial and antifungal agents, isotonic and absorption delaying agents, and the like. The use of such media and agents for pharmaceutically active substances is well known in the art, and it is described, by way of example, in Remington's Phamnaceutical Sciences, 18th Edition, Mack Publishing Company, Pa., USA. Except insofar as any conventional media or agent is incompatible with the active ingredient, use thereof in the pharmaceutical compositions of the present invention is contemplated.

Therapeutic formulations suitable for injectable use include sterile aqueous solutions (where water soluble) or dispersions and sterile powders for the extemporaneous preparation of sterile injectable solutions or dispersions. The present invention also contemplates administration via topically applied compositions where active components may be modified to permit entry via the skin. It must be stable under the conditions of manufacture and storage and must be preserved against the contaminating action of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi.

The carrier can be a solvent or dispersion medium containing, for example, water, ethanol, polyol (for example, glycerol, propylene glycol and liquid polyethylene glycol and the like), suitable mixtures thereof and vegetable oils. The proper fluidity can be maintained, for example, by the use of a coating such as licithin, by the maintenance of the required particle size in the case of dispersion and by the use of surfactants. The preventions of the action of microorganisms can be brought about by various antibacterial and antifungal agents, for example, parabens, chilorobutanol, phenol, sorbic acid, thirmerosal and the like. In many cases, it will be preferable to include isotonic agents, for example, sugars or sodium chloride. Prolonged absorption of the injectable compositions can be brought about by the use in the compositions of agents delaying absorption, for example, aluminum monostearate and gelatin.

Sterile injectable solutions are prepared by incorporating the active components in the required amount in the appropriate solvent with various of the other ingredients enumerated above. Generally, dispersions are prepared by incorporating the various active components, sterilized where appropriate, into a sterile vehicle which contains the basic dispersion medium and the required other ingredients from those enumerated above. In the case of sterile powders for the preparation of sterile injectable solutions, the preferred methods of preparation are vacuum drying and the freeze-drying technique which yield a powder of the active ingredient plus any additional desired ingredient.

Preferred compositions or preparations according to the present invention contains between about 0.1 .mu.g and about 2000 mg of active component. Other ranges contemplated herein include from about 1 .mu.g to about 1000 mg, from about 10 .mu.g to about 100 mg and from about 100 .mu.g to about 50 mg. Where killed or attenuated or otherwise non-infectious organisms are administered, a suitable range is from about 102 to about 106 cells/ml of therapeutic composition being administered to a patient. The present invention also contemplates amounts outside this range, the important feature being an amount which is effective to induce a deviation from destructive autoimmunity to a non-destructive form of autoimmunity.

Pharmaceutically acceptable carriers and/or diluents include any and all solvents, dispersion media, coatings, antibacterial and antifungal agents, isotonic and absorption delaying agents and the like. The use of such media and agents for pharmaceutical active substances is well known in the art. Except insofar as any conventional media or agent is incompatible with the active component, use thereof in the therapeutic compositions is contemplated. Supplementary active components can also be incorporated into the compositions. Examples of supplementary components include various cytokines, insulin, antibacterial agents and immune potentiating molecules.

It is especially advantageous to formulate parenteral compositions in dosage unit form for ease of administration and uniformity of dosage. Dosage unit form as used herein refers to physically discrete units suited as unitary dosages for the mammalian subjects to be treated; each unit containing a predetermined quantity of active material calculated to produce the desired therapeutic effect in association with the required pharmaceutical carrier. The specification for the novel dosage unit forms of the invention are dictated by and directly dependent on (a) the unique characteristics of the active material and the particular therapeutic effect to be achieved, and (b) the limitations inherent in the art of compounding such an active material for the treatment of disease in living subjects having a diseased condition in which bodily health is impaired as herein disclosed in detail.

The principal active component is compounded for convenient and effective administration in effective amounts with a suitable pharmaceutically acceptable carrier in dosage unit form as hereinbefore disclosed. A unit dosage form can, for example, contain the principal active component in amounts ranging from about 0.1 .mu.g to about 2000 mg. Expressed in proportions, the active component is generally present in from about 0.5 .mu.g to about 2000 mg/ml of carrier. Expressed in cellular terms, the unit dosage may range from 102 to 1016 cells/ml of carrier of diluent. In the case of compositions containing supplementary active component, the dosages are determined by reference to the usual dose and manner of administration of the said components. The present invention also contemplates dosage ranges outside these amounts.

The active components of the present invention may be administered alone or in combination with other therapeutic molecules such as molecules which reduce effects of the autoimmune pathology associated with IDDM. A single dose may be administered and is preferred although multiple doses may be required with intervals of from minutes to hours, days to weeks or months to years.

Reference herein to "preventing" IDDM includes total prevention of IDDM or substantial prevention for a limited time or even substantially indefinitely or delaying onset of IDDM or reducing the severity or otherwise ameliorating the effects of IDDM. For example, in humans, prevention includes but is not limited to delaying onset for from 1 to 60 years or from 2 to 30 years or from 3 to 15 years. As a test system for prevention in mice may range from weeks to years.

It has been shown that the active components of the present invention including one or more Q fever antigens and in particular killed C. burnetii are more efficacious than either FCA or BCG in protecting beta cells from autoimmune destruction in NOD mice. Thus, NOD mice treated with doses of either FCA, BCG or Q fever antigen(s), did not develop IDDM. Significantly, more viable beta cells were found in the pancreases of mice which had been treated with the active components than in the mice treated with either FCA or BCG.

NOD female mice between 120 and 180 days of age, which had become diabetic spontaneously, treated with an active component of the present invention and then transplanted with syngeneic islet tissue essentially as described in Bowen et al, (1980), maintained normal blood glucose levels. Control mice, treated with saline instead of an active component and then similarly transplanted with syngeneic islet tissue, become diabetic, for example within about 10 days of tissue transplantation. Histological sections of transplanted tissue taken from the saline treated group, at the time they become diabetic, show a massive inflammatory infiltrate into the transplanted tissue, with essentially complete beta cell destruction. Histological sections taken for example one month after treatment from the animals treated with an active component show little or no inflammatory infiltrate and the beta cells are intact.

Claim 1 of 6 Claims

What is claimed is:

1. A method for use in prophylaxis or treatment of an insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus autoimmune disease in a mammal, said method comprising administering to said mammal an effective amount of an isolated non-infectious Coxiella burnetii.




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